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Subject:  Re: Help! My Social Security is in Lucent Date:  7/29/2001  6:35 PM
Author:  gurdison Number:  46726 of 875665

<I guess I missed the connection between "personal responsibility" and taking 15% away from me my entire working life (in addition to having taxes already be the single highest item on my budget) under the guise of making me eliglible for SS, only to have the government say in the end, "Sorry, you have too much money saved. Maybe you should have bought the new cars, new computers, vacations, and all the other stuff you did without all those years, after all.">

What you say hits the nail on the head. The issue is and always has been a moral one to me.

From a practical standpoint we never have worked under a written contract where you pay in X dollars per year and are guaranteed Y dollars when you reach a certain age. You cannot pass on your benefit dollars to an heir when you die before the retirement age. You may even prepare a retirement budget that allows you to survive without counting on a single dollar from SS. Even with all of that, I believe that almost every member of the working population has labored with the CLEAR understanding that a benefit would and should be paid to all who qualify and desire it.

How much and at what age should all be part of the reasonable discussions about the parameters of the program. This discussion can be very detailed and cover tax rates, COLA's, #of quarters to qualify, maximum rates, personal accounts, etc. I want to make it especially clear that I am not for dumping extra obligations on the Gen X'ers. All of the fixes should include making sure that the system is permanently solvent for them too. I firmly believe that permanent fixes without denying earned benefits or slamming current taxpayers are very possible.

People are aware of the need to plan for retirement at a much earlier age than ever before. To take 15% a year from a twenty something person while telling them that if they are responsible they will never qualify for any benefits 40 years later is unacceptable. It is penalizing being responsible and rewarding stupidity.

To end on a lighter note, I am reminded of the old Peanuts cartoon where Pigpen goes up to Violet and asks her for a kiss. She tells him that maybe if he would clean himeself up he would get one. The next few strips show Pigpen scrubbing away at the dirt and making himself look very presentable. He then approaches Violet and again asks for his kiss. She then tell him "I only said maybe". Pigpen learned a valuable life lesson. It is not the type of thing our government should be doing to 65 (or 67) year old people who have worked very hard for 45 years.


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