In a previous post I talked about Social Security and how they are ripping off some people including the author of this blog. This is a continuation of that post.
As I said in that post I was going to send letters (emails) to my two US Senators and my Congressional Representative. I specifically sent the following letter to the people listed below:
- Senator Richard Wicker,
- Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, and
- Representative Bennie G Thompson
As a tax paying, voting citizen and constituent of yours I am deeply concerned about our social security system as it now stands. It seems to me that because the government has misused the money trusted to it by historical and current workers, we could be facing severe hardships in the not too distant future.
In 1940 we had 159 workers for every 1 social security beneficiary. This ratio reduced drastically over the next ten years to 16:1 by 1950 and since then we have dropped even further to about 2.8:1. It has been calculated that by 2035 that number could drop to 2:1 or lower.
While there have been numerous public changes since inception in 1935 to supposedly benefit the benefactors of the system … it is the undocumented changes that has caused the system to get into trouble. I don’t need you sending me a form letter telling me “Everything is fine and will continue to be fine with the system.” You and I both know that is not true – and it is time for the Federal Government and those who represent us – the American Citizens – to stop lying about it.
I’m sure there are many changes that could be made to shore up the system before it is too late. Here is just one idea:
- Figure out with Insurance Actuaries what is needed to make sure Medicare (all parts) for those who are 65 and older are fully taken care of and charge as a Medicare tax for that.
- Allow the remainder of the 7.65% from the employer and employee to be invested by the employee (on top of any other IRA or pension contributions) on a tax-deductible basis how they see fit. I am sure most people could do better with their Social Security Contributions on their own than the government has proven they can do over the past 85 years (1935 – 2020).
If you care to disregard my letter, please understand while you have that option, we the people also have an option to find someone else to do your job the next time your position becomes available.
With Much Respect,
These were all emailed on December 9, 2019. Since then I have heard from only one person … Senator Roger Wicker … and I heard from him that very afternoon at 3:53 PM. This is what the Senator had to say by way of email:
Thank you for contacting me regarding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid reform. I am glad to have the benefit of your views on these issues.
The Social Security program has serious financial problems that require Congress to work now to strengthen Social Security for our children and grandchildren. Fortunately, current retirees have no need to worry about their benefits, but the system needs to be fixed for future generations. According to the Congressional Budget Office the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2031. This projection is based on dramatic changes in the ratio of workers to beneficiaries. For example in 1950, there were 16 workers paying into Social Security for every one beneficiary. Today, there are about three; when younger workers retire, there will be only two workers supporting each retiree.
I believe that any reforms to the Social Security program should not reduce promised benefits. I also believe that allowing younger workers to voluntarily invest their tax dollars in personal accounts that they own and control is an idea that deserves serious consideration. Personal accounts should be guaranteed to deliver a benefit no less than Social Security is currently offering. These accounts would be invested in safe, low-cost, broad-based investment funds that have always earned higher rates of return than the traditional system, helping workers enhance their personal savings. In addition to higher rates of return, personal accounts belong to the individual and can be passed onto heirs.
With regard to Medicare and Medicaid, it is important that Congress begin a serious dialogue on the future of these programs and how to strengthen them for generations to come. These programs have serious financial problems that require immediate attention. To delay action in the face of impending insolvency would be irresponsible, and Congress must work now so that health security is preserved for our children and grandchildren.
Reforms of all these programs must protect current retirees and shore up the programs for future generations. Be assured I will keep your views in mind as Congress considers changes to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of assistance.
With best wishes, I am
Roger F. Wicker
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Now I don’t believe for a minute that Mr. Wicker sat down and personally penned this letter to me. He is much too busy for that. It was either penned by one of his assistants or potentially some form of Artificial Intelligence (AI). While I was very pleased to get a response so quickly, I was not at all happy with the response that I got. In fact, I took exception to much of it.
It did not tell me much of anything that any person who was familiar with the internet and Google Searches could tell me. For example in 1950, there were 16 workers paying into Social Security for every one beneficiary. Today, there are about three; when younger workers retire, there will be only two workers supporting each retiree. I told y’all this in my original blog.
He did say this which I do agree with … I believe that any reforms to the Social Security program should not reduce promised benefits. I also believe that allowing younger workers to voluntarily invest their tax dollars in personal accounts that they own and control is an idea that deserves serious consideration. Personal accounts should be guaranteed to deliver a benefit no less than Social Security is currently offering. These accounts would be invested in safe, low-cost, broad-based investment funds that have always earned higher rates of return than the traditional system, helping workers enhance their personal savings. In addition to higher rates of return, personal accounts belong to the individual and can be passed onto heirs.
However, this is what I strongly disagreed with … Fortunately, current retirees have no need to worry about their benefits, but the system needs to be fixed for future generations. According to the Congressional Budget Office the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted by 2031. I feel the system needs to be fixed for current and future generations.
With this comment … With regard to Medicare and Medicaid, it is important that Congress begin a serious dialogue on the future of these programs and how to strengthen them for generations to come, he leads me to believe that he thinks Social Security Pension, Medicare and Medicaid are different systems in the minds of the voting public … and since it all falls under FICA taxation … I don’t think they are separate (though they probably should be).
Needless to say; I cannot leave this as it is. I had to write back – and this time will be sending it via “snail mail” to his office and the offices of the other two I wrote to. This is what I said in my letter back to him:
Dear Senator Wicker;
First allow me to thank you for responding to my recent email regarding the terrible shape that Social Security is in. I’d like to add that I also sent the exact same email to your associates, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and House Representative, Bennie G. Thomson. As of this date, neither of them has replied to my email. You have … so we certainly see where my vote will not go next time around. They, too, will get a copy of this information I am sending to you.
In response to me you said …
I beg to differ with you here. Take a look at a letter I got from Social Security and read the attached blogs I have written about it … please!
My wife, who has not worked in over 20 years got the same kind of letter literally reducing her benefits from $1,006.70 per month to $544 per month. Therefore, it seems that while I have taken a 16.70% reduction this year [$1,950 ÷ ($2482.70 – $144.60)]; my wife took a much larger cut of 63.10%. This is calculated as follows: $544 net income for 2020 ÷ ($1006.70 gross income less $144.60 Standard Medicare Premium) = 63.10%.
Thus, I beg to differ with you when you say … “current retirees have no need to worry about their benefits” and agree with you when you say “but the system needs to be fixed for future generations.” However, I will add it needs to be fixed for ALL generations.
Sir, most of what you told me in your letter can be found in Google Searches on the internet. What can’t be found is just what Congress and our leaders are doing about it to fix the system.
The reason I am getting hit so hard this year is because of IRMMA. This is something that was added in the calculation of net benefits to a retiree in 2007 under the Bush Administration for Part B Medicare and in 2011 under the Obama Administration and the Affordable Care Act of 2011. I’m not the only one in America being hit by this – though I may be the only one taking time to complain about it.
The reason my wife is getting hit so hard is simply because she is married to me. I’m of the opinion that it may be beneficial to divorce her and live in sin the rest of our lives so that we can get more from the Social Security Administration. It is ashamed – living in this country – that one would even have to think like this.
Yes, it is because of MAGI and IRMMA that I find myself in this predicament. You see, as you read in my blog (attached) I sold my business in 2018 to retire and my capital gain became a part of MAGI per IRS rules – which also needs some adjustments going forward. A soap box for another day.
As a retired financial advisor (yes, I held a CFP® designation) with over 42 years of experience, I remember the marriage penalties of social security years ago and how divorce would help older citizens get what was rightfully theirs. I thought those days had ended though with the ending of the penalty. I guess not now.
When I was getting ready to retire from financial services, I sought assistance from social security as to when I could draw my income without having to worry about a reduction in benefits. I was told that with the extension of normal retirement going from 65 to 66 or 67 depending on the year of birth that once a person reached full retirement age they no longer had to worry about losing $1 of benefits for every $3 of earnings above a certain limit … that they could, in effect, earn as much as they wanted to without a reduction in benefits.
It makes no difference to me how you care to paint it … whether it be a reduction because of income … or a reduction because of IRMMA … a reduction of net income to the social security recipient is still a reduction (even if that reduction is caused by a ridiculous increase in Medicare Premiums).
It makes me so angry that I am tempted to hire a good law firm to file a class action suit against the Social Security Administration for lies and fraud committed against people of the United States. In my opinion it is a larger Ponzi Scheme than Bernie Madoff was found guilty of committing. The only problem is … to sue the government would require permission from the government and that is never going to happen in this case.
Regardless of how the government tries to split it up into Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and SSI … in the minds of the voting public … it is all Social Security.
It is time … No, it is past time … to fix the broken system once and for all. I would love to help in this endeavor, though I am not sure the government would want my help.
This, you can take to the bank. As a retired individual who believes in the power of the pen … until the Good Lord decides I am no longer for this world … I will continue to use the power of the pen when I see the government doing things that I believe is hurting the American people.
If I don’t hear from you before, here’s wishing you and your Family a Very Merry Christmas.
I am sending this letter and copies of both of my blogs about this to the Senator and to the other Senator and Representative that is responsible for my area of the country.
Since I first wrote of this on Monday I have received messages (email and text) as well as phone calls. Many of you call Social Security and Medicare two of the largest Ponzi Schemes in America. I even had one very close friend write to me and tell me this:
You do realize that Social Security Administration is part of the Executive branch, and the cuts are part of the Senate’s appropriations committee, right?
May wanna send a letter to Mitch and ask for 20% back.
I personally am not counting on a penny from the gov for SS, and given my disabled vet status not counting on Medicare either.
I do believe that by mentioning the Executive Branch, he was trying to cast aspersions to President Trump and that the reference to “Mitch” was Mitch McConnel – Senate Majority Leader. And perhaps I should mail both the president and the senate leader – and I will probably do so eventually if I see no traction in the near future on this.
Where does it all really stem from … these reductions in social security benefits come from IRMMA (Medicare’s Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount) which was brought into being as follows:
Therefore, it was started actually under the Bush Administration for Part B and was continued under the Obama Administration for Part D as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2011 (Obama Care).
But he is right … it is a ponzi scheme. In fact a writer with Barron’s (Kyle Smith) had this to say in an article; Wait a Minute — Why Should I Hate Bernie Madoff?
On June 29, 2009, Judge Chin sentenced Madoff to the maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison. As we know, since November 1, 1987, there is no parole afforded those serving in a Federal Prison (though they could be released early for good behavior).
In the financial securities industry we were always required to work under what is called the Fiduciary Rule. This rule is a regulation underpinning fiduciary duty, or the legal requirement for financial advisors to work in their customer’s best interest.
Unfortunately, while we hear people like Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler talk about No One is Above the Law … it appears that all congressmen/women and senators are when it comes to Social Security and the money belonging to “The People.”
In my opinion, the next time any money is taken from the social security coffers for any reason other than for the named beneficiaries (those with a social security number) the people taking it or those requesting it in the form of a spending bill needs to be brought up on Fraud charges and convicted to a Federal Penitentiary for a period not less than the amount of time they have served in a leadership capacity for the United States Congress. If they are a representative with 6 terms under their belt then they should be required to spend no less than 12 years in the Federal Penn.
We “as the people” must make them stop spending our money on what they want. We can do it if we really do care!
Thank you … I will keep fighting for you. All I suggest is that you start fighting for you as well.
Jerry Nix |FreeWaveMaker, LLC