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I was looking at my annual Social Security statement today and played around with the Social Security calculator you can download from the SSA site.

The last few years I've been getting about $9,000/yr of royalty income on some engineering continuing education courses I authored years ago and I pay about $1,000 in FICA taxes on that income as a "self-employed worker".

If I continue to get $9,000/yr in FICA earning for the next 9 years until I'm 65, I'll pay about $9,000 in FICA and my monthly Social Security benefit will increase by $45/month.

I was wondering what a GOP-approved, for-profit insurance company would charge a 65-year-old for that same $45/month inflation-adjusted benefit? Given that private insurance companies are much more efficient due to being managed by multi-million dollar CEOs instead of a Gov't bureaucrat making less than $200,000/year, I expected a significant discount to the fortune I'm paying in FICA on my paltry royalty income.

Imagine my surprise when I learned a $45/month annuity from an insurer costs $12,000 at today's rates -- $3,000 more than I'd pay in FICA taxes for the same benefit.

My Republican friends tell me Social Security is a bad deal. Maybe it is, just not as bad as buying the same benefit from a private insurer.

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