(This has been around for a while, but it is worth keeping on top of the pile.)
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.
Our Senators and Congresspersons do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it.
You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson 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, they continue to draw the same pay until they die.
Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.
For example, former Senator Byrd or Danforth or Congressman White or Gephardt and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars ), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives.
This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.
Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.
Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH....
This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;
"OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK"!
From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into, -every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)- we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.
Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley' s benefits!
Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.
That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.
If enough people read this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.