Monday, October 19, 2009

No COLA

I've been just a bit cynical about our Social Security System for some time now, but I have to admit, I've refigured this a different way, and naturally gotten different results. As we know, the primary group of people that do not consider social security benefits to be in the same category as welfare, are the ones collecting. And the group of people that are collecting truly believe they paid into it for their own retirement. The social security system was set up for one generation to pay in, to support the previous generation. That is an unarguable fact. The "fact" that it has been redefined does not change the original fact of intent. At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I've seen several professional photographs of my grandma in her younger days after she "went to town." Now, while she was waiting tables and could afford her portrait to be taken many times over, her parents spent 18 months living in their chicken house, without chickens, while building another house due to the loss of their main homestead in the depression. All of this occurred basically in the same time frame. My great grandparents were the first generation eligible for Social Security benefits. That generation did not pay in, but they literally, took care of the previous generation and provided 16 members of the industrial revolution work force for every one person that collected, while still basically providing all their own food. Clearly the first generation to collect did contribute. Then somehow the very next generation got it in their head that they were paying into their own retirement and many of them are still collecting. My grandma, in her 90's, is certainly not alone in her generation. The nursing homes are filled with people handing over their social security checks for skilled care. Now, moving right along into the next generation who is now retired and collecting what they paid in, plus they have pensions. I'm ready to do the math. I'm not even going to address the pre-medicare years of FICA. This is simple and since I had found data, I never actually did the math. The average worker by the end of the 60's was having 4% of their pay withheld for social security and their employer was matching that, making 8% of their income going into that fund. That basically boils down to 1 month of collection for every year of work. So, for those that spent 40 years in the work force and have it in their mind, they were paying in for themselves, there should be 40 months to be collected. That's 3 years and 4 months. So, in the many blogs that I have made mention of the 13 months, that was the original data collected, but after doing the math and crunching the numbers, if every generation is only considering themselves, and this is America, after all, so that would be the case for the most part. Each worker is entitled to collect 1 month for every year they worked! And oh, by the way, my new math doesn't include a raise and apparently the government agrees with me. There will be no COLA this year, but I'm sure there will be plenty of programs to subsidize one more senior benefit. While I'm on this tangent, I was appalled at the grocery store to discover that my husband and I could have a senior discount on a certain day. Yeah, two of us, well into the comfort years of middle aged and not underfed are entitled to a discount on our groceries while the young struggling families who have more withholding than any generation has ever seen, never get a discount day.
With all the senior discounts and continuing high unemployment, meaning less withholding, why should there be a COLA?
And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. Torah of Holy Scripture
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