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SOCIAL SECURITY: Will we recoup our contributions?

Letter by Margaret L. Rasor, Tacoma on Aug. 22, 2011 at 10:27 am with 45 Comments »
August 22, 2011 10:27 am

I was born in 1965, a “surprise” to a couple of survivors of the Great Depression. Growing up with parents who could have passed for grandparents, I learned a lot. I was taught what it was like to have nothing, to quit school in sixth grade to help earn money for food for the family.

My parents were “savers.” They lived simply and didn’t spend. They never had a mortgage or a car payment. They bought land and built their house. They always paid cash up front for cars. They encouraged me to get a job, which I did at 13 years of age. When it came time, they loaned me money (above that which I had saved and earned) for college at a zero percent interest rate. I paid them back in full.

It’s probably of no surprise that I am not only disgusted but also outraged at the fiscal reality of our country. Having worked nearly nonstop for 35 years and receiving that federal update yearly letting me know what I’ve earned so far in Social Security, it is disgusting to hear that Social Security will be insolvent in a matter of weeks. What we have all paid for is becoming a vanishing entity.

I don’t think I’m alone in stating that we, the real everyday Americans, are sick of the status quo. We need some hope. When will we get it?

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Leave a comment Comments → 45
  1. old_benjamin says:

    Friday, January 20, 2012.

  2. The letter writer needs a math course.

  3. January 20, 2012 – about 9 1/2 months from the November election when the GOP attempts to elect a radical right wing candidate.

  4. Dave98373 says:

    Social security (like most major issues in D.C.) will not be fixed until it hits rock bottom. Politicians are very good at evading important issues. But sadly, too many entitlements for American citizens and non-citizens were given when they didn’t pay anything into it. I don’t know about hope, but when it comes to programs like social security we are all going to see some change. Just not the kind of change people were counting on.

  5. “But sadly, too many entitlements for American citizens and non-citizens were given when they didn’t pay anything into it.”

    Sort of like the programs that took care of European people that immigrated to the US at or around the turn of the19th and 20th centuries, and the 100 years within?

    Those people are called “our ancestors”.

  6. nonstopjoe says:

    I was born in 1933. Bought my first car in 1957 and have owned 20 since then, paid for with cash. Have yet to incur a credit card carrying charge. I have little sympathy for the profligate who are dragging the U.S. down with mindless spending. Problem is collapse appears inevitable, and it’ll destroy us all.

  7. it is disgusting to hear that Social Security will be insolvent in a matter of weeks.

    I suppose you could say it is a matter of weeks, days, minutes or seconds but, since 2038 is 27 years from now it is probably more accurate to say “in a number of decades” or “in about a quarter century”.

  8. PumainTacoma says:

    Margaret good letter. I have the same parents, no debt, no thrills, saved everything. Only thing I’d say is forget about entitlements. I do not vote for sound bite words like HOPE.

    Bottom line is people like you and me are paying for dead beats to grab every piece of entitlements when they could be working and not sitting back watching soap operas. Here’s some reality. When kids are 16 they work. When you go to school you pay. When you buy a car you pay cash and when you buy a home you pay what you can afford. The fiasco for these mortgages goes to the buyers, too. When a janitor can buy a $500K house and then ask themselves why they can’t afford it and are being foreclosed on, while expecting the rest of frugal society to pony up for their losses it is a disasterous policy. Salle Mae Freddie Mac et al all need to stay out of the government loan business. The next rumor is for us to now finance all these foreclosed home as low income housing. Sorry but time to eat what you sow. Advice for all. Pay with cash and do not expect the rest of working society to pay for your bad mistakes. The depression generation had it right.

  9. I agree with Kardmos.Too many people enter this country late in life, work for a few years and retire on Social Secuerity and live a long happy life there after. Me being a victim of polio in 1928 @ age 3 went to work @ age 16 and worked 40 hour weeks until age 62. A pretty good working career. If you pay in you collect. If not you don’t.

  10. Margaret needs to learn how to comprehend what she’s reading.

    Its the Social Security disability part that will be broke in a couple of weeks.

    Apparently, the disability and pension parts have separate accounts. From what I’ve read this isn’t the first time the disability portion has had to take money out of the pension portion to continue mailing out those disability checks.

    Part of the problem is the lack of jobs in this country, and part of it is do the loosening of the disability requirements.

  11. “U.S. down with mindless spending”

    Do you mean mindless spending like Medicare and Medicaid nursing home care?

  12. “A pretty good working career. If you pay in you collect. If not you don’t. ”

    I suggest you go to the Social Security web site and read what the qualifications are to collect Social Security.

    The only folks getting Social Security without paying into the program are children of the deceased and spouses of someone who did pay into the program.

    So with that in mind do you want cut the payments to the spouse and children of the deceased?

  13. LarryFine says:

    … and who comes out of the shoot to attack the letter writer ??? (that showed absolutely no political preference one way or the other )

    Precious.
    ……….

  14. LarryFine says:

    Good letter Margret.
    It’s interesting to note how some people respond to the idea of personal responsibility.

  15. “LarryFine says:
    August 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    … and who comes out of the shoot to attack the letter writer ??? (that showed absolutely no political preference one way or the other )

    Precious.
    .
    LarryFine says:
    August 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm
    Good letter Margret.
    It’s interesting to note how some people respond to the idea of personal responsibility.

    First of all, LF…..if you weren’t so busy applauding a right wing hit piece, you’d see that the letter writer didn’t do her math when she filled in the blanks.

    Using her formula – being born in 1965 and working non-stop for 35 years, would require the current year to be 2018, not 2011. That would mean she started working at 18….NON STOP.

    If born in 1965, she is 46 years old, thus started her NON STOP work ethic at the age of 11?????

    I’ll trust we’ll not see you on this thread again…..

  16. flamaysr – As a polio victim, you would probably know that disability isn’t just handed out to anyone. A friend of mine, totally disabled from an accident, tried to continue working and was released due to his condition. It still took him 4 years to settle his disability claim.

    The point I was making was in response to the “non-citizens were given when they didn’t pay anything into it” comment. This country has been taking care of people other than Americans for about two centuries.

  17. “If born in 1965, she is 46 years old, thus started her NON STOP work ethic at the age of 11?????”

    from the letter writer:

    “They encouraged me to get a job, which I did at 13 years of age. “

    Really karnos

  18. theglovesRoff says:

    And yet Kardy has another personal connection to the letter and a someone (new) who ::::::::cough cough::::::::: agreed with him.

    Truly pathetic…..

    Where is the backwards snail these days???????

  19. LarryFine says:

    I know…. it’s the whole personal responsibility and self sufficiency aspect that gets their small, dependent minds warped… Kooky.
    …..
    btw, it craves attention. :) honk- honk

  20. LarryFine says:

    “stand up Chuck ” !!!!

  21. “We need some hope. When will we get it?”

    It’s in the aisle next to the beer and chips. Get a large shopping cart and fill it up. It’s on sale till November 2012.

  22. Dave98373 says:

    “This country has been taking care of people other than Americans for about two centuries.”

    And we can longer keep doing this as a nation. We are broke because of this warped thinking. Social security pays monthly checks to people who are living in this country illegally and who did not pay into this program. It also subsidizes other nonsense programs that is easily manipulated and has a high rate of fraud. It is unfortunate that lifelong working folks pay into the system their whole life only to be told that it may or may not be there when you have bankrolled it all along.
    If people pay into it then they should get something in return. Period.

  23. “They encouraged me to get a job, which I did at 13 years of age. “

    I was delivering papers at the age of 6 (my brother, aged 8, needed help on the “famiy” route that was being handed down from sibling to sibling). That was a “job” I guess but it didn’t have payroll taxes deducted……

    At age 14 the only jobs that I could legally get were detassling corn, walking beans and a dishwasher at a local restaurant. I did all three.

    Yes….I was a “surprise baby” of Depression era parents. And, I was born just after the Baby Boom…..so I will just miss the full Social Security benefits that they are promising to the Boomers but no one else.

    They taught me to be thrifty – I rarely go out to eat, I pay off my credit card in full every month, the only outstanding loan I have is the mortgage which I pre-pay on the principal every month.

    But…..they also taught me to not get caught up in hysteria. To read carefully. To understand the difference between a story about Social Security disability fund and past stories about Social Security retirement funds. To be able to read a story from AP and identify how the writer is slanting it to fit her agenda….

  24. PumainTacoma says, “When a janitor can buy a $500K house and then ask themselves why they can’t afford it and are being foreclosed on”

    You had me until that.

    You have issues with janitors or any other individual who gets their hands dirty earning a living?

    Why do I suspect “Puma” lives in the North End! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! :D

  25. commoncents says:

    13 years – 11 years – 35 years…who cares. The letter writer clearly doesn’t understand Social Security and the various programs. That being said…I didn’t focus on that portion of her letter but on the part where she says average Americans are sick of the status quo. I think we all can agree that to be true.

    Democrats or Republicans? Doesn’t matter. Do something to fix this…

    If you’re a hard-liner and unwilling to negotiate on anything or everything then I won’t vote for you.

  26. dallasow says:

    First of all, SS is not an entitlement as the right wingers would have you believe. It’s the recouping of funds that you and your employer contributed during your working years. In order to recoup those funds, one must work and pay into the system for 40 quarters. For all of you naysaying pessimists, that’s 10 years. The amount the person or a qualifying survivor collects is based on the amount contributed by the employer and the employee. If an immigrant is collecting SS it means that the person has met the 40 quarter requirement, has a valid SS number. The immigration status of the person collecting SS is irrelevant. If they paid into the system for at least 40 quarters and have reached retirement age, they are owed this money.

    SS is solvent for the next 25/30 years. For future solvency issues, all that needs to be done is to remove the contribution cap ($106,000) and require that contributions be made on all income. Problem solved.

    The right wing is spreading the lie that the program is insolvent and that SS and medicare is ruining this country. Nothing could be further from the truth. What they are advocating is the privatizing of the SS and medicare programs, awarding the programs to their rich cronies so they can collect large profits off of your hard earned money. People pay a monthly premium for medicare. That premium covers the costs of services provided those requiring medical care. The contributors that are well are paying the costs of those who are not well. Surely one does not believe that everyone in the medicare program are simultaneously receiving medical benefits from that program. Wake up righties, review the facts before you advocate and support the radical agenda of the greedy right wing b@#%ards.

  27. concernedtacoma7 says:

    That bit about Medicare from Dallas actually made me laugh.

  28. LarryFine says:

    Wow, hate much dall ?

    The federal government had to borrow $37 billion last year to finance Social Security, and will need to borrow more this year. The red ink is projected to total well over half a trillion dollars in the coming decade.

  29. PumainTacoma says:

    Dcr628 Go watch 60 minutes in 2009 as the commentators talk about all the people getting $500K loans including janitors, :”part time” bus drivers, secretaries, etc… the point was why get a huge mortgage with no money down when you can’t afford it. If you don’t like the commentary then write 60 minutes because they reported the story…. don’t shoot the messenger eh.

  30. LarryFine says:

    I happened to browse thru the wallpaper (something I rarely do) and noticed he took exception to someone claiming they entered the workforce at 11yo.

    That says more about wallpaper than the letter writer.
    I started working around that age also… mainly mowing lawns at first. At 14 I drove a pickup truck at a campground (we took turns because it was so much fun) picking up garbage (we later burned it… egads!!!) I earned $2 an hour… tax free.

  31. to all of you self-righteous people who think that all the sixteen year-olds should just get off their lazy butt and get a friggin job…there are no jobs for them.
    if you have a degree, your income has likely fallen in recent years. unemployment among college graduates has fallen below 4% for the first time ever. but among teenagers, the rate is 24%.
    the reason is that there are four applicants for every job. not for the good jobs…for EVERY job.
    people need jobs in order to spend money and stimulate the economy. the jobs also broaden the tax base while also lessening the tax burden.
    it doesnt matter how much it costs or what it takes…we just need more jobs.

  32. LawrenceKNotsofien says:

    no one pays social security for mowing lawns

  33. xx – tell me an employer that hires 13 year olds legally. How does a 13 year old work continuously during the school year?

    I guess the next time I call BS on something I’ll make sure I leave no items out.

  34. amen, Lawrence

  35. I don’t know about the rest of the workforce, but my first legal job (where the employer took out taxes and I was registered with the State and Feds) was at age 16 – as required by law at that time. I was born well BEFORE 1965

  36. two issue kanros…

    one – facts are one thing but telling a sorry to get a point across is another. I would state the following as true…

    I have been workng continuously and paying taxes since I was 13.

    In the summer of 1971 I worked at a YMCA summer camp, in the kitchen sweeping, mopping, pulling large vats of whatever, and washing over 300+ dishes with a crew of other teenagers. Did I work during the school year, no. But I don’t see my statement as inaccurate.

  37. According to:

    http://uwworksafe.com/worksafe/teens/teenRules.php

    The minimum age for employment is 14, with restrictions for many jobs

  38. “continuously” would stipulate year around.

    My point, which is obvious, is that the letter writer takes liberties with the truth and uses hyperbole to make her points.

    Classic Conservative tactic. For example…..

    “I was taught what it was like to have nothing, to quit school in sixth grade to help earn money for food for the family.”

    Check the laws concerning “6th grade dropouts”….. Then think of how many colleges would accept a 6th grade dropout.

    This letter is full of flaws.

  39. no one pays social security for mowing lawns

    Really? So those landscaping businesses are somehow excused from regulations?

    Or…are you saying that ALL landscaping businesses are tax dodges?

    Reminder – self-employment tax is to make up the FICA and SECA taxes that employers have to deduct from those who are self-employed.

  40. LarryFine says:

    Wallpaper hijacked another one ::::::::sigh::::::::

  41. dallasow says:

    Concerned: If you feel that i spoke untruthfully about SS and Medicare, don’t laugh, rebut it with facts.

    LarryFine: Seems like there’s something untruthful about your post

    Copied from a 2009 report of the Senate Committee on Aging.

    “Social Security also faces fiscal challenges. The 2009 report of the
    Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the program will
    continue to add tax revenue to its Trust Funds through 2016, after
    which it will need to subsidize its revenues by drawing from the
    Trust Funds in order to pay out full benefits. By 2037, the Trustees
    estimate that the reserves will be depleted. Since the Social Security
    program is prohibited from borrowing, tax revenues at that
    point would only be sufficient to pay out roughly 76 percent of benefits.
    Congress should enact modest changes to Social Security in
    the near future in order to bring its long-term financing into balance
    and improve benefits for those who need them most.”

  42. LarryFine says:

    “seems” or “feels” dallas ?

    What part do you “seem” to think to be “untruthful” ?

  43. @Puma……I wasnt watching 60 minutes in 2009….or any other time….I’m too buzy working to make a living! HAAAAAAAAAAA!! And I live in the north end WITH dirty hands and I can pick on em if I want HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA so there….did you catch my neener neener :D

  44. ItalianSpring says:

    “SOCIAL SECURITY: Will we recoup our contributions?”

    Answer: No.

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