Steve Breen for February 17, 2011

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    LoisG Premium Member over 13 years ago

    They need to quit calling Social Security, etc. “entitlements.,”

    When I started paying into the system, you could purchase a McDonald’s hamburger for 10 cents or get a “baker’s dozen” for $1.00 (13 burgers for $1.) The Baker’s Dozen order came with four fountain drinks or coffees and four orders of fries. Nowadays, the average McDonald’s burger costs $1 EACH - so 13 burgers would cost $13. An average McDonald’s fountain drink today costs about $1 EACH - so four fountain drinks would add another $4 to the $13 - or $17. Back in the day - the fountain drinks which came with the Baker’s Dozen order had unlimited refills. You can also get an order of fries for $1 EACH these days - so the meal at the drive-in which ONCE cost you $1 would now cost you AT LEAST $21! So - just to be breaking even, people from my generation SHOULD be able to get $21 back for every dollar which we paid into the system back in 1960!

    Or - to look at it another way - nowadays - you can no longer “save” $100. But - back in the day - if you put $100 into a savings account at the local bank - at the end of a year - you would have your $100 PLUS the interest which the savings earned. (You can no longer do that because banks have “discovered” something which they call “service charges.” Around here, the average bank charges between $8 and $12 per month as a “service charge.” While paying $12 per month as a “service charge” - the $100 you want to save these days would be down to $4 by the end of the eighth month. By the end of a year, you would OWE the bank $44 for “service charges” on an account which had been empty for four months! A bank which “only” charges $8 per month as a service charge does NOT really make it possible for you to “save” your $100 - they just let you lose your $100 at a slower rate than the banks which charge $12 per month as a “service charge.”)

    Now let us suppose that, back in 1960, I had put $100 into a savings account in an old fashioned bank which NEVER jumped onto the “service charge” bandwagon but which DID pay 5% interest. At the end of a year, I would STILL have my $100 plus an extra $5.

    If I kept that $105 in the bank for another year, I would have $110.25.

    If I kept that $110.25 in the same bank for another year, I would have $115.76.

    The next year, my savings would jump to 121.55.

    The following year, I would have $127.63.

    The year after that, my savings would jump to $134.01.

    The following year, my savings account would be worth $140.71.

    The following year, my savings account would have jumped to $147.75.

    The year after that, my savings account would jump to $155.14.

    One more year, and my savings would jump up to $162.90.

    Another year of savings would bring my total to $171.05.

    Another year of savings would bring my total to $179.60.

    The following year, my savings would have jumped up to $188.58.

    The following year, my savings would climb up to $198.01.

    The following year, my savings would jump up to $207.91

    In other words, I would have doubled my savings in only 14 years.

    At the end of 50 years, my $100 in savings would have grown to $1,046.74.

    So - just to remain even - for every $100 which someone from my generation paid into the system, we SHOULD be able to expect at least $1,046.74 back - which is what we COULD have expected to have returned to us IF banks had NOT discovered the highway robbery plan known as “service charges.”

    Everyone who paid into the system SHOULD be able to expect a reasonable rate of return - that is NOT an “entitlement” - it, is, rather, what we were all told was the reason WHY we were paying into the system in the first place. If the government took all of our money and squandered it somewhere else - that is not our fault and not a situation which any of us were in a position to be able to control.

    In my opinion, politicians of BOTH stripes would be wise to refrain from referring to Social Security as an “entitlement” - which seems to imply that senior citizens are scarfing up a privilege which we did not really earn. Social Security is something which we DID earn - then we turned it over to the government for safekeeping. If there was no one in the government wise enough to keep our earnings safe for us and return those earnings to us as they had promised - it is NOT the fault of the senior citizens.

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    AuH2O  over 13 years ago

    Lois, Social Security is an “entitlement” because you (we) earned it. They should stop calling welfare, etc. “entitlements” because no one has a right to charity from the taxpayers. Because of the misnomer, many people believe they are “entitled” to welfare, food stamps, and public housing all their lives.

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    Clydeasaurus  over 13 years ago

    Why don’t we just ask that all federal and state employees close out their retirement funds and add that money to social security? Put us all in the same boat, so to speak….

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    Uncle Joe Premium Member over 13 years ago

    Funny… I thought it was the GOP that was insisting they wouldn’t cut Social Security or Medicare.

    Wait… that was before the election. You don’t suppose they were just pandering to get the votes of senior citizens?

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    JoyceBV65  over 13 years ago

    They must have learn it from the Democrats.

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    DebJ4  about 13 years ago

    I know what you mean! I figure that if there was ANYONE in Washington who actually knew HOW to save - they would have done it LONG ago - and we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now! Claims that it is all the other bunch who don’t know how to save don’t cut any mustard with me either! NO politician in Washington should be taking my vote for granted either!

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