LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Social Security does help those who need it

Friday, August 17, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:42 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 18, 2012

COLUMBIA — I receive three daily newspapers. Last week, on Aug. 7, all three copied word-for-word a story from The Associated Press from Washington stating retirees now receive less money than they paid in.

First, the original writer did not look at the card bearing their number. They would have noticed the name change. It is now the Health Insurance Social Security Act. That changed when dependents and spouse insurance plus the premium was added to the cost in 1939. My sister and her three children received that benefit when my brother-in-law died. One child was less than 1 year old. That program aided her until that child graduated from the police academy in Tampa. She became a lieutenant.  Families of two of my four daughters-in-law used the same needed program.

  • 56 million people receive a monthly check.
  • 36 million average $1,235.00.
  • 8.7 million disabled checks ($1,111).
  • 2.5 million spouse checks ($590).
  • 4.3 million children checks ($564).
  • 4.4 million widows/widowers ($1,152).

Today’s young people thinking of having a family surely will have "security."

P.S. In 1982, MU had a program on this and ask me what I thought. I said we need a length of living allowance. Newspapers printed that with my name. It was added in 1983.

Harry R. Weitkemper is a Columbia resident. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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James Krewson August 17, 2012 | 6:35 a.m.

This only makes it more egregious. The fact that it was "changed" only reinforces the point that people who were expecting to retire on their "investment" were having their money used for other purposes. That is why many of us would like the option to invest the money privately. What happened to freedom of choice? When it comes to ending the lives of infants in the womb, choice is celebrated. Yet when we are trying to plan our retirement, these same people want to take our freedom of choice away. Government isn't suppose to rule your life from cradle to grave, yet many in this country crave it. I simply don't understand it.

(Report Comment)
Steve Spellman August 17, 2012 | 11:20 a.m.

I noticed the same article published all over too. I found it a good message to get put there that the system is going broke, & it's so obvious why.
I have no doubt that the program "helps" those that receive benefits (money). However, it is rarely pointed out by advocates for the program (by whatever name it is to go by), that requires forced participation, and no flexibiIty for how much to pay in, or (other than when to start drawing payments), no flexibilty in drawing more at once for special needs, or less another year, nor what the funds are invested in.
The Supreme Court verified nobody has a right to benefits, either, so recipients are at risk to future political winds shifting and being subject to further cuts like other pension providers that are severly underfunded. The trust fund is simply full of IOUs, by the way, as congress already spends the SS taxes paid in. It's a devil's deal, a program that should be managed by individual citizens and communities to volutarily provide for their most needy. To continue to proclaim the glory of the stutus quo is self-deception, and leaves those that depend on the benefits with a false sense of security.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz August 17, 2012 | 11:39 a.m.

Would be interesting, although I doubt the Social Security administration makes this public, the amount of money paid in by people that die before they are able to receive benefits or don't have beneficiaries that can lay a claim. But then I guess we didn't build those fund balances, someone else did that.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield August 22, 2012 | 10:48 a.m.

"All three copied word-for-word a story from The Associated Press from Washington stating retirees now receive less money than they paid in."

That's why it's called The Associated Press. It's been around for decades. You just now noticed it?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor August 22, 2012 | 12:49 p.m.

Good one John ;-)

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks August 23, 2012 | 7:47 a.m.

I once read that SS was the worst retirement investment ever. It was the equivalent of putting a set amount of money in a bank account (say $450k) then finally getting to the right age to start spending it but only being able to spend $175k while the same guy who put that $450k in a bank would earn interest and when he retired be able to spend it all plus all the extra that it earned in interest.

(Report Comment)

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