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Generation Gap and Social Security

January 25, 1986

James Sorensen (Letters, Jan. 14) resents paying Social Security taxes because, as a self-employed person who must pay both employee and employer contributions, he pays more than his federal income tax amounts to. What he neglects to mention is that, in figuring his taxes, he deducts the amount he paid as an employer , to Social Security.

He seems to think all Social Security payments go to "old people." If he'd bother to check, he'd find that a lot of it is returned to the states to be used for various programs that are actually welfare-type arrangements (college grants, the blind, disabled, etc.) And it is apparently news to him that we "old people" have also paid into Social Security.

I worked under the program from 1935, when it began, until the end of 1976, when I retired--a total of 41 years, paying all the way (as did my employers). I have now been retired 9 years, a long way from the 41 years I worked. (My sister paid in for 39 years, but didn't live to collect a cent. And through many of those years, we supported our parents, who had no pension benefits of any kind.)

Sorensen also resents Proposition 13 because he has to pay "twice as much" property tax as his next-door neighbor. Of course that's not fair. But was it fair, before Proposition 13, when my taxes were raised every time other properties in my area were sold for huge profits, even though no change of any kind was made in mine? Does he know how many people were taxed out of their homes, because of real estate profits others made, in which they did not share?

Proposition 13 should be changed. The property tax should remain the same, when property is sold. A fair tax should be assessed on the seller's profits . After all, the property hasn't changed; there is just someone different living on it. The assessed value of the property should be raised only when the place has been enlarged, improved, etc. Such changes will not be made, of course, until enough furious citizens pound desks in Sacramento, and demand them.

LILLIAN MONEY

Manhattan Beach

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