After ridiculing Nancy Reagan when she recommended that folks “just say NO!” to drugs, now the Democrats seem to be adopting the policy wholesale. I defy anyone to tell me something that the “progressives” (yes, that is meant to be sarcastic,) are proposing as policy to cure the ills of the nation. Simply opposing any and all that comes from the administration might be easy for them to implement as daily talking points, but it results inevitably in a pretty dismal record to run for re-election on.
It would be hard to argue that Social Security is simply coasting along stunningly and no problem exists. But, when the discussion begins to range into numbers and details the language quickly becomes mind-numbing and the numbers overwhelm. The core constituency of the Democrats doesn’t deal with these concepts very well. Eyes roll up in heads and necks snap dangerously as the masses nod off. Conflict, as in the daily dose of soap opera is so much more exciting.
That may be why they don’t read the Wall Street Journal. But, if you want the numbers handled by someone with a level of expertise well above my bumbling, you need to take a look at Wall Street Journal on SS Reform by Robert Pozen.
I’ve got just a bit of experience with Social Security and it left me with “issues.” My father worked hard all of his life, but that life wasn’t as long as it needed to be to recover what he paid in to Social Security. He dropped dead at 58 and therefore all of his contributions went missing. Mom had also worked all of her life, so when she finally started drawing her benefit at 65, she didn’t get any of Dad’s cash, only her own. Imagine how many millions of folks shuffle off this mortal coil without claiming a penny of their contributions. That’s the money the wailing and weeping Dems want to keep from going into private accounts. That’s “your money” and you should be able to leave it to your family when you go.
When Mom checked out, it was on the 30th of April. She expired about 10:00 AM on the very last day of the month. She didn’t receive her April SS benefit however. We had to pay that back, since she hadn’t completed the month. She was alive on every day of April. She ate food, paid utilities, owed rent and had every expense of life throughout the entire month, but the SS system grabs your last month’s check as a matter of policy. Seems as though you ought to plan to die early in the month to maximize your benefits.
When I started claiming my Social Security recently I got another surprise. I went with the early option at age 62, since the tables all tell me I’d have to live past 78 to break if I waited until 66 and a couple of months for “full retirement.” My birthday is in September, so in the entire month of October I was retired and eligible. Ahhh, but SS doesn’t pay you for that first month. I didn’t get my first check until November. Was I not supposed to spend anything for a month? What a racket. They nick you for the first and last month of your retirement and don’t give you a nickel if you check out early.
Seems to me that something has to be done and it would make a lot of sense for folks with an interest to get on the backs, figuratively, of their congress-critters and demand some serious debate on this. You can’t “just say NO!” if you want to be re-elected.