we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Jul 19th 2004

my retirement goes up in smoke, SSA shrugs it off

UPDATE: i sent this article to my friend at the daily universe, and it was published the following week. in the online edition [link] the name of my website is misspelled, and the muddled line breaks make it almost unreadable. here it is, edited by me (an unpaid hack with no formal education in editing) and in better condition than that of our college newspaper that has won several national awards. i would not hesitate to say that many blogs have higher editing standards than some college newspapers. anyway, here’s the crisp, clean, coherent article, with controversial phrases (like “old farts”) included:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

i’m worried.

i just got a letter from the socialist–er, social security administration (SSA) reassuring me nonchalantly that, by the way, when i reach retirement age, social security will have enough funds to pay me 73% (73%, yahoo!!!!) of what i was promised in our glorious “contract between the generations”.

considering the poor payout social security provides to begin with (an estimated 1.5%–about as much as my mastercard incentives program), and considering i could be making 4-5% in a CD or 8-11% in the stock market with that money, this is UNACCEPTABLE. it was already completely preposterous for me to pay 12.4% of my salary into a fund that only returns 1.5% interest in 40 years. it is even more ridiculous to be promised just 73% of THAT.

here’s a promise for all you old farts who’re stealing my money:

when my generation starts getting elected to public office, this government ponzi scheme is going to find its way over to history’s “unmarked grave of discarded lies.” [*]

from democrat, john kerry:

We must uphold the promise of Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton and never allow the President and his Republican friends to threaten Social Security by putting it on the Wall Street trading block.

kerry echoes the whines of his liberal friends [link] who complain that privatizing the system will only make stock traders richer by increasing “administrative costs”!

but the truth is that privatizing social security will make everyone
richer. according to,

The S&P 500 has returned more than 10% over it’s lifetime. Therefore, if you invested $300 a month in an S&P 500 mutual fund for 40 years at the end of that time (enter these numbers into any compound interest calculator) you would have approximately 2 million dollars (Please note that these are conservative numbers). This means you could withdraw almost $200,000 or 10 percent a year and never exhaust your money. Social Security does not sound so good any longer.

and if you’ve got $2 million in the bank you can afford to shell out a taaaaad more to “administrative costs”, k? ditwads.

and what about the typical complaint that if we privatize social security, americans will spend all their money and have nothing on which to retire?

go read the little red hen again. this issue should be about rewarding people who take personal responsibility for their own welfare, not impoverishing us all in the name of equality. rightly argues that the poor are better off without
social security because

The rich invest money in 401K plans. The poor, the clerk at a convenience store or a customer service representative doesn’t have excess funds to invest and so their only investment vehicle is Security Security, which in reality is just a [low yield] bond fund.

it’s not government’s job to save our money for us. we can do that for ourselves, and as the percentages show, we’ll do a better job of it than they will.

let's see...we're going to be adding two years to your working life and taking away 27% of the retirement funds you were already getting scammed on.  have a nice day, chump!

also–before you go–retirement age has been moved from 65 to 67. sorry for the inconvenience!

i love how the graphics and literature from the SSA are all so unemotional and almost numbing, in contrast to the feelings of those (like myself) who encounter them and are informed that their money is being stolen, and there’s nothing they can do about it. it’s kinda charming, actually.

4 Responses to “my retirement goes up in smoke, SSA shrugs it off”

  1. If you don’t do some retirement planning of your own, you’ll end up spending your autumn years eating tinned catfood. SSA is long gone for boomers – there are 45 million less people contributing to SSA – thanks to Roe v. Wade.

  2. I’m 31 and I sure as hell am not leaving my future to a bunch of thieving con men. I fund my own retirement fund, in spite of the money stolen by the SSA.

    I will dance a jig the day that agency is done away with.

  3. A friend of mine is running for Congress in Arkansas, a fellow by the name of Vern Humphrey ( Vern has a great, simple proposal for fixing social security. Basically, Vern proposes to reinvest FICA dollars in excess of expenditures, for each individual taxpayer.

    Go to his site, click on Issues. Drop me a note at The Commons ( if you have any comments. I’ll be putting together an interview with Vern later this month.

    Let’s not let the government provide for us.

  4. […] my retirement goes up in smoke, SSA shrugs it off (problems with social security. an argument for privatization) […]