I saw this rant in an email making the rounds, and it got me thinking:
Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500. If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working (me) you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!
If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had.
Well, lots of stuff gets passed around the internet that’s not true. So, I used this handy-dandy Annuity calculator and checked it out. I plugged in the following info: $4,500 initial investment (first year of 15% payroll taxes on $30K, which is the total paid by the worker and the employer), $4,500 annual contribution (since you pay every year), 50 year contract term (working 50 years), 6% expected return (1% more than the ranter above, but reasonable), and then added in the effect of 2% per year inflation (something the ranter didn’t do). I didn’t include any taxes being taken out, because, after all, this is basically a savings account administered by the government. They get the benefit of having all that money to borrow off of (although they’ve been irresponsible and over-borrowed, but that’s another issue).
The above example produces an account total of $719,000. Now, if you lived to 100, and were 68 when you retired, you could take out $22,469 every year, and that’s not calculating the continuing interest the account should accrue, which would increase that amount substantially.
Now, you may not start out making what you will later on in life, but this example uses a very modest average of $30K/year, so I think it’s more than fair.
So, it’s true. We paid for our Social Security, it’s no hand out. All this bloviating by our elected officials — who, after all, get a pretty cushy retirement and health benefit deal — about how we need to sacrifice some of this “entitlement” to help pay down the national debt is pure BS. Because it is NOT charity, but we ARE entitled to it.
The government has irresponsibly borrowed from the Social Security fund to try to balance their books all these years, and that is not the fault of the workers paying into it. We’ve spent untold gazillions over the decades on our ill-conceived military exploits, but once again, that’s not the fault of the worker. We give HUGE tax breaks to multi-national corporations who are already making record profits — now THERE’S some welfare that needs to be scaled back!
The super-rich exploit loopholes and pay less in taxes as a percentage than us working stiffs, yet the Republicans refuse to even consider going back to the Clinton-era tax rates, which would go a long way toward balancing the budget. The rich were doing just fine under those rates, by the way.
Yet the only “shared” sacrifice being called for by these hypocrites is off the backs of the ever-receding middle class, the seniors and the poor. We must reject this whole line of so-called “reasoning,” and demand fair treatment and common-sense solutions.
And NO WAY will we let them rip off our hard-earned Social Security!