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In Financial Jeopardy -- What Is Social Security?

March 03, 2004

Re "Greenspan Is Right: Act Before Social Security Goes Boom," Commentary, Feb. 27: The thing to remember about Social Security is that even if it pays everything it is currently promising, it's still a lousy deal for most of today's workers. You don't have to be a financial wizard to know that putting away 12.4% of your income for 40 years should result in a pretty good retirement nest egg. But that same amount (including employer matching) put into the Social Security pyramid scheme probably won't yield enough for a scrambled egg on the senior menu at Denny's.

Of course, it doesn't help that for many years the surplus Social Security revenue has been used to cover up the true size of the federal budget deficits. But that is all the more reason to permit Americans to control their own retirement savings instead of having to trust politicians to handle the money.

Frederick Singer

Huntington Beach

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Hmm. In the near future, those in the large population bubble known as the baby boom will enter their retirement years and expect to be nourished from their Social Security pot. That pot is too small, we're told, to accommodate the size of the baby boom generation.

Haven't the boomers contributed massively to that pot, according to their population size, during all their working years? That awaiting pot should be fat -- fat with contributions from the upcoming boomers.

Somebody, somewhere, did everybody wrong.

Rudy Wissema

Long Beach

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Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has just confirmed what many already knew: Social Security is, and always has been, a giant Ponzi scheme. Get in early and you profit; get in late and tough luck.

Frank Buzard

Rancho Palos Verdes

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