Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Blown away Social Security post

Just spent 20 or so minutes only to accidentally blow away my Social Security post. Ticks me off that if you accidentally delete something it's wished away to the corn field. No recovery like in Word. No Ctrl-Z in too many cases.

Quick reprise of personal Social Security experience:

  1. Father at 64 retroactively retires at 62
  2. I receive Social Security while in college
  3. Years later S.S. states that I earned more than some maximum, so owe 50ยข on every $1 of gross for that period - in the 85% tax bracket for awhile.
  4. I send them a check that they lose.
  5. I send them another check, but don't cancel the first.
  6. First check then clears at a really bad time - car repairs on same day as check clears.
  7. I get 2nd check back from them.
  8. They send back first check with some explanation about fiscal vs. calendar years. What a bunch of hooey for nothing.

Long intro to state: why isn't someone looking at excess benefits to children of retirees - no way was Social Security created to give middle class children some extra spending cash while at SMU.

Also had a roommate & step-siblings receive S.S. from dead parent - some means test should be given to children to determine benefit need. Social Security has so grossly exceeded its original charter.

There are 3 things that tick me off about the current debate. From most to least importance:

  1. What difference does reform make if our deficit is still 75% & we're adding $400B/annum?
  2. Stop "hiding" the true annual deficit. It's being masked by the $100M+ extra Social Security funds paid in each year.
  3. Why not get rid of the "hidden" tax of employer matching. Tell employers to transfer it over so we can see how much we're really being taxed.

My general feelings on 'reform'? None of us knows the specifics, but given Bush's record on his Medicare reform - he added tons of potential debt to future budgets - and on NBC weaponry, I don't have a shred of trust for any proposal coming from him, so hope that the Dems stand solid & GOP coalition does break down. Guess we'll find out over next 6-12 months. If nothing major passes by end of fiscal, will figure that there's nothing to worry about.

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