Organized Misinformation on Social Security

Social Security has always had its critics.  Industrial CEOs are less than enthusiastic about paying their share into the system.  Wall Street investors would love to replace our Social Security system with a less reliable and more profitable program to their firms.  Those businesses and others seek out and financially support politicians who agree with their views on Social Security.  Their goal is to dismantle the foundation of Social Security one brick at a time.

Pinochio FraudThe following email is an example of organized misinformation trying to sway public opinions against our Social Security system. It is followed by a summary of the SNOPES.com  Fact Checking analysis of the claims found in the email.

The Social Security check is now (or soon will be) referred to as a   “Federal Benefit Payment?”

I’ll be part of the one percent to forward this.  I am forwarding it because it touches a nerve in me, and I hope it will in you.

Please keep passing it on until everyone in our country has read it.

The government is now referring to our Social Security checks as a “Federal Benefit Payment.”   This isn’t a benefit.  It is our money paid out of our earned income!  Not only did we all contribute to Social Security but our employers did too.  It totaled 15% of our income before taxes.

If you averaged $30K per year over your working life, that’s close to $180,000 invested in Social Security.

If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social security ($375/month, including both you and your employers contributions) at a meager 1% interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you’d have more than $1.3+ million dollars saved!

This is your personal investment.  Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month.

That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. (Google it – it’s a fact).

And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years (until you’re 98 if you retire at age 65)! I can only imagine how much better most average-income people could live in retirement if our government had just invested our money in low-risk interest-earning accounts.

Instead, the folks in Washington pulled off a bigger “Ponzi scheme” than Bernie Madoff ever did.

They took our money and used it elsewhere. They forgot (oh yes, they knew) that it was OUR money they were taking.  They didn’t have a referendum to ask us if we wanted to lend the money to them.  And they didn’t pay interest on the debt they assumed.  And recently they’ve told us that the money won’t support us for very much longer.  (Isn’t it funny that they NEVER say this about welfare payments?)

But is it our fault they misused our investments?  And now, to add insult to injury, they’re calling it a “benefit”, as if we never worked to earn every penny of it.

Just because they borrowed the money doesn’t mean that our investments were a charity!

Let’s take a stand.  We have earned our right to Social Security and Medicare.  Demand that our legislators bring some sense into our government.

Find a way to keep Social Security and Medicare going for the sake of that 92% of our population who need it.

Then call it what it is: Our Earned Retirement Income.    

99% of people won’t forward this.  Will you?

You can bet I WILL!!!

SNOPES begins their response with:

“Mostly False!

It’s true that Social Security retirement payments are classified as “federal benefit payments,” but that’s about the only bit of information the author of this item got right — and even at that he errs in mistakenly assuming this terminology to be new and in misconstruing what it means. ”

A summary of the rest of the response:

  • The term ‘benefit’ has been used for Social Security since it was enacted.
  • “Federal Benefit Payments” applies to a broad class of payments made to individuals from the federal government from Medicare to farm subsidies.
  • The word “entitlement” has long been the standard terminology for payments made under government programs that guarantee and provide benefits to particular groups.

The calculations made are far off the mark:

  • Social Security contributions for any individual to be equal to 15% of his lifetime income is a flawed approach.
  • The current contribution level is 12.4%, and historically the contribution rates have been significantly less.
  • It’s wrong to assume that a typical current retiree (i.e., someone who started his working life 40+ years ago) earned an average of $30,000 per year across his lifetime, as the median household income in the U.S. didn’t even reach that level until 1993.

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks AND our government pours hundreds of billions of $$$$$$’s to foreign countries” is a grossly inaccurate statement.

The bulk of the federal budget (by far) goes towards providing for retirees and low-income households including: Social Security, health care insurance (Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP), Financial Safety Net programs. The Federal Budget pays about 1% of the budget on foreign aid.

Social Security isn’t a savings plan or an investment scheme; it’s an Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program intended to ensure that Americans are guaranteed a minimum monthly payment in their non-working years. As with all insurance programs, some people will eventually receive less than they paid in, and others will receive more.

Follow this link to read the full SNOPES article.

This email has been floating around cyberspace since 2012. The messages in it sounds credible. Friends pass this email to friends to let them know the problems with Social Security.

These attacks are organized messages to dismantle our Social Security system one brick at a time. Don’t let them.

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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One Response to Organized Misinformation on Social Security

  1. Edith Powerts says:

    Let the People have what they have Earned and are intittle to.

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