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Dan Knight's Soapbox

How to Save Social Security

Dan Knight

I received the following email this morning. I think it's a wonderful idea. If you agree, please email it to others.

Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security, and, therefore, they do not collect from it.

Social Security benefits were not suitable for them. They felt they should have a special plan. Many years ago they voted in their benefit plan. In more recent years, no congress person 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 no matter how long they have been in office, 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 example, former Senator Bill Bradley (New Jersey) and his wife may be expected to draw $7,900,000.00 over an average life span, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000.00 during the last year of her life. Their cost for this excellent plan is "0", nada, zilch. This little perk they voted in for themselves is free to them - you and I pick up the tab for this plan.

Our tax dollars at work.

Under Social Security - which you and I pay into every payday for our own retirement, with an equal amount matched by our employer - we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month. We would have to collect benefits for 68 years and 1 month to equal the Bradley's benefits. Imagine for a moment that you could structure a retirement plan so desirable, a retirement plan that worked so well, that Railroad Employees, Postal Workers, and others who were not in the plan would clamor to be included.

This is how good Social Security could be, if only one small change was made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan out from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us.

Watch how fast they fix it!

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed will be planted, and maybe good changes will evolve. How many people can you send this to?

I'd just as soon drop out of Social Security, have the 6.2% my employer contributes added to my wages, and drop 12% of my gross income into a retirement plan I can control, although that certainly doesn't look likely.

But if we are going to continue with the government's pay-as-you-go Ponzi scheme known as Social Security, the least we can do is insist that all Americans participate in the program.

For more information on how Senators, Representatives, and other federal employees, see the Urban Legends at About.com. Although some facts in the above email are incorrect, "the typical Member of Congress can draw more than a million dollars in benefits over his or her lifetime," and "it is still the case that Congressional pensions (which are not the same as Social Security) accrue at a special, higher rate than those of other federal workers &endash; 70 percent higher, according to Representative Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas."

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