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Social Security Income for the Elderly

November 28, 1987

The Times reported that the Congress was inundated with mail from Social Security beneficiaries protesting any reduction of the scheduled cost of living increases (Part I, Nov. 18). Those interviewed on TV, and letter writers to you over the years, almost unanimously state that they have paid for their benefits, and they merely are receiving what is their own money.

Even young people write to you suggesting that they should be permitted to invest for themselves what is taken from them for them in Social Security taxes.

I retired in 1978 at the age of 62. Today, the Social Security income from my account that is payable to me and my wife is $11,244 per year. The maximum tax paid by anyone born in 1916 to and including 1978 is a grand total of $8,557. This year alone we shall receive $2,667 more than our total lifetime tax, and it is about to be increased again!

Social Security is nothing but welfare, and we shall never treat it properly until we call it by name.

I have suggested to my representatives that Social Security payments be programmed to include a statement of the lifetime tax paid and the to-date total of the amount received.

Young people should understand that the tax they pay today is disbursed today. It does not create a fund for them. Today the maximum tax paid by an employee is $3,003. When I started to work the maximum tax was $30. In 1988 the maximum tax for an employee jumps to $3,762.51, and if he is self-employed it is double that amount.

I resent senior citizen organizations pretending to represent me in pressuring members of Congress to continue to take large taxes from young people in order to give it to me.

Next year a young woman, for example, with a $20,000 income will pay $1,502 to the government who will pay all of it immediately to today's elderly.

The old timers have representation--whether they want it or not--for Social Security to pay more, more, more. Who will represent the young? Only the truth! The media must begin to portray Social Security for what it is--a tax-favored welfare program.

JOHN R. CHAPMAN

Solvang

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