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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/where-have-you-been-ive-always-considered-15466390.aspx

Subject:  Re: Help! My Social Security is in Lucent Date:  7/29/2001  3:39 PM
Author:  YZF1K Number:  46714 of 741038

Where have you been? I've always considered Social Security FICA a tax rather than a retirement contribution I was likely to get back in the future.

That's fine. Rightly or wrongly, most people don't see it that way. In order to disabuse everyone of the notion that they are somehow buying their way into future benefits, let's stop treating it in a way that gives people that impression. Maybe if there were more straightforward debate on the issue -- including politicians standing up and saying, "You know what, that 15% we've been taking doesn't mean you'll be eligible for a penny, even if SS still exists when you are ready for it" -- something productive, or at least more honest, could be accomplished.

I am under no illusions that I will ever see a penny from SS, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it or see it as anything even approaching equitable. I'm not sure what the numbers would look like, but I'd be more than willing to (a) opt out with any waiver necessary or (b) get to keep, say, 3-4% in my own name and have the other 11-12% go into SS, while waiving any claim whatsoever to SS apart from that 3-4%. The reality, I'm afraid, will be that my 15% contribution will be a contribution to others, not myself.

-- Mark
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