Monday, October 18, 2004


"I'll tell you what. I will never privatize Social Security. I'll never cut the benefits and I won't raise the retirement age," Kerry told an audience in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Well I guess that is something since Kerry voted to tax my SS benefits. Kerry voted for the automatic increase protocol for Medicare that he now blames Bush for.

I paid into Social Security all of my working life. If I had been able to save and invest some of the funds I paid to FICA, I would probably have a pretty good nest egg now. My nest egg could be passed on to my family. However, when I die, it matters not how much I paid in, benefits cease for the month in which I die, even if it is the last day of the month. Bye bye any excess of funds I paid in but did not get out.

How many people have paid in their entire working life but die before or right after they reach the age at which they could draw on SS. Does the widow or widower then get the full benefit? The answer is no. If savings had accumulated in a retirement account, the survivor would receive 100%.

President Bush has promised not to cut benefits for those of us now on SS or those who are near retirement. He is concerned for the younger citizens. He wants them to own their contributions instead of following the above description of funds paid in but never retrieved. President Bush believes that the money they earn and pay into retirement savings via SS is still their money and not the governments. I applaud that.

Obviously, the financial formulas as to percentage invested in a person's own account need to be worked out. Safe investment strategies must be developed so that those without great investment knowledge have legitimate and sound advice. This will not be done by the President alone but in cooperation with the best financial minds available working along with congress.

This should keep SS from entering every presidential campaign as a major issue. Seniors will not be threatened with the
slogans of lockboxes vs. someone spending what should have remained in a trust fund for future retirees. Candidates such as Kerry could not use threats of loss of SS payments as a club to pander for the seniors' votes!

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