Thursday, January 06, 2005

A Little Something from the Government... 

Well, I got my annual Social Security Statement today from the government.

As always, it contained my lifetime earning stats and how much I can expect to receive back from SSI if I retire at 62, 66,or 70 years old. There’s all the usual housekeeping information and something a little more this year from Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart. She writes:

“…Unless action is taken soon to strengthen Social Security, in just 14 years we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2042 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted.* By then, the number of Americans 65 or older is expected to have doubled. There won’t be enough younger people working to pay all of the benefits owed to those who are retiring. At that point, there will be enough money to pay only about 73 cents of each dollar of scheduled benefits. We will need to resolve these issues soon to make sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations as it has done in the past.”

Thanks to Jo Anne, I’m now better educated about Social Security.

Except that in her unasked-for little commercial for the Administration’s Social Security ‘reform,’ paid for by my taxpayer dollars, she neglects to mention that many people think the crisis is being way over-hyped. Ms. Barnhart omits that in “just 14 years,” the Social Security Trust Fund kicks in to make up the shortfall in income— just the way it was supposed to. She never says that with any one of several moderate changes in taxation or income levels subject to withholding over several decades before her doomsday, this crisis need never occur.

If you aren’t too happy with your statement being turned into an unpaid political flyer for the Administration’s agenda, write to your representative in Congress and the Senate. I know I’m going to.

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