View Full Version : Why Social Security sucks....READ

01-26-2003, 04:14 PM
2004 Election Issue This must be an issue in "04". Please! Keep it going.
(This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.
Our Senators and Congress men & women do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special
plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan.

For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.
This is calculated on an average life span for each. Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds-our tax dollars at work!

From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into-every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) --we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000. monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

How many people can YOU send this to?

01-26-2003, 05:27 PM
Tink-- I got that email many times, and I finally went to one of the BEST research sites on the web, Snopes.com, to check it out. It sounds good on paper, but actually, none of it is true, I'm afraid.

From http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/pensions.htm

Claim: * Members of Congress receive lavish pensions but are not required to contribute to the Social Security fund.

Status: * False.

Example: *

[Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Hillary for President- NOT!

Just yesterday I saw her on the senate floor speaking against the high salaries of company CEO's.....

Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York State Senator, now comes under this fancy "Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan," which means that even if she never gets reelected, she STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies.

If Bill outlives her, he then inherits HER salary until HE dies. He is already getting his Presidential salary until he dies. If Hillary outlives Bill, she also gets HIS salary until she dies. Guess who pays for that? WE DO!

It's common knowledge that in order for her to establish NY residency, they purchased a million dollar-plus house in upscale Chappaqua, New York.

Makes sense. They are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense.

Here is where it becomes interesting. Their mortgage payments hover at around $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residence HAD to be built within the acreage to house the Secret Service agents.

The Clintons charge the Federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of that extra residence, which is just about equal to their mortgage payment. This means that we, the taxpayers, are paying the Clinton's salary, mortgage, transportation, safety and security, as well as the salaries for their 12 man staff - and this is all perfectly legal!

When she runs for President, will you vote for her?


[Collected on the Internet, 2000]

Something to think about. So that those who don't know, may.

Our Senators and Congressmen don't pay in to Social Security, and, of course, they don't collect from it.

The reason is that they have a special retirement plan that they voted for themselves many years ago. For all practical purposes, it works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw their same pay, until they die, except that it may be increased from time to time, by cost of living adjustments.

For instance, former Senator Bradley, and his wife, may be expected to draw $7,900,000, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000 during the last year of her life. This is calculated on an average life span for each.

This would be well and good, except that they paid nothing in on any kind of retirement, and neither does any other Senator or Congressman.

This fine retirement comes right out of the General Fund: our tax money. While we who pay for it all, draw an average of $1000/month from Social Security.

Imagine for a moment that you could structure a retirement plan so desirable that people would have extra pay deducted so that they could increase their own personal retirement income. A retirement plan that works so well, that Railroad employees, Postal Workers, and others who aren't in it, would clamor to get in.

That is how good Social Security could be, if only one small change were made. That change is to jerk the Golden Fleece retirement out from under the Senators and Congressmen, and put them in Social Security with the rest of us. Then watch how fast they fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe one or some of them along the way, might be able to help.

How many can YOU send it to?

Nothing is worth more than this day


Variations: * In May 2001 someone thought to combine the "Congressmen don't pay into Social Security" alerts with an existing screed about the Clintons charging the Secret Service rent by adding the following to the e-mail quoted above:

Don't forget, our girl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, thanks to the infinite wisdom of New York State voters, now comes under this Congressional Retirement Plan.

Talking about the Clinton's, it's common knowledge that, in order for her to establish NYS residency, they purchased a million + house in upscale Chappaqua, NY. Makes sense. Now, they are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense.

Here is where it becomes interesting!! A residency had to be built in order to house the Secret Service agents. The Clinton's now charge the Secret Service rent for the use of said residence and that rent is just about equal to their mortgage payment, meaning that we, the tax payers, are paying the Clinton's mortgage and it's all perfectly legal.

You gotta luv it. Is Everybody Happy?????????


A debunking of that addition can be found on our Landlord of Misrule page.

Origins: * This piece has been circulating on the Internet since April 2000. So much of it is outdated, inaccurate, or misleading, it's difficult to know where to begin.

* It is not true that Congressmen do not pay into the Social Security fund. They pay into the fund just as everyone else does.

* It was true prior to 1984 that Congressmen did not pay into the Social Security fund because they participated in a separate program for civil servants (the Civil Service Retirement System, or CSRS), but that program was closed to government employees hired after 1983:

In 1983, P.L. [Public Law] 98-21 required Social Security coverage for federal civilian employees first hired after 1983 and closed the CSRS [Civil Service Retirement System] to new federal employees and Members of Congress. All incumbent Members of Congress were required to be covered by Social Security, regardless of when they entered Congress. Members who had participated in CSRS before 1984 could elect to stay in that plan in addition to being covered by Social Security or elect coverage under an 'offset plan' that integrates CSRS and Social Security. Under the CSRS Offset Plan, an individual's contributions to CSRS and their pension benefits from that plan are reduced ('offset') by the amount of their contributions to, and benefits from, Social Security."

* It is not true that Congressmen "continue to draw their same pay, until they die." The size of their pensions is determined by a number of factors (primarily length of service, but also when they joined Congress, their age at retirement, their salary, and the pension option they chose when they enrolled) and by law cannot exceed 80% of their salary at the time of their retirement.

* The figures given as an example for Senator Bradley ($7,900,000 over the course of his and his wife's lifetime, culminating in a top payout of $275,000) are simply outrageous amounts with no basis in reality. There is no conceivable way Senator Bradley could draw anywhere near that amount of money though his pension plan.

* It is not true that Congressmen "paid nothing in on any kind of retirement," and that their pension money "comes right out of the General Fund." Whether members of Congress participate in the older Civil Service Retirement System or the newer Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS), their pensions are funded through a combination of general tax provisions and contributions from the participants. Right now, members of Congress in the FERS plan must pay 1.3% of their salary to FERS and 6.2% in Social Security taxes.

* As of 1998, the average annuity for retired members of Congress was $50,616 for those who retired under CSRS and $46,908 for those who retired under FERS. Not bad, but not the highway robbery this piece makes it out to be.

Additional information: *
* * Congressional Pensions * (C-SPAN)

Last updated: * 14 January 2003
The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/pensions.htm
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Urban Legends Reference Pages 1995-2003
by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson

01-26-2003, 06:36 PM
Very interesting indeed....and thanks for the info. I've gone to snope.com myself on many occasions. (Unfortunately not on this occasion I'm afraid....lol)

However, I still agree with the 2 basic points of the piece, I posted....

Which is that if the members of congress knew they'd have to rely on social security to live off of when they retired, It would be much better.

AND.....social security *does* SUCK.

01-26-2003, 07:06 PM
AND.....social security *does* SUCK.

It does indeed. As everyone knows, if nothing changes, there won't BE any Social Security when we get to the age where we might require it.

Most members of Congress are lucky: they either have law degrees or medical degrees or something else that requires a big-bucks education. They have their pensions and, sometimes, their book tours and teaching jobs. Not all of them oppose the idea of Social Security reform, though. It's just so hard to really change any major issue because so often, that fight comes at the expense of others. The ones with the most publicity are the ones that get hammered at, and everything else falls by the wayside.

This is just my observation, but in the November elections, most of the candidates I was following had three or four major campaign issues they were discussing. They made promises and said encouraging things about the others, but everyone seems to take for granted that once they get into office and actually have to DO something about those issues, they're going to get bogged down in the House or Senate due to partisanship bickering. A lot of Congresspeople have the best intentions in the world, but their hands are tied unless they have key Committee seats and/or lots of powerful friends and/or seniority. And some issues are just so complicated, and require so much groundwork before ANY change can take place...it just gets so bogged down. It's frustrating and depressing to watch.

Sometimes it feels like the only things that go through quickly have to involve guns, bombs, and foreign countries.