Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Social Security Blues

Geeze I hate it when I forget to tell you people something important. I think I’m suffering from hardening of the brain arteries, but that’s not the important news—my brainular problems are common knowledge amongst those of you who know me.

The news is that, on or about September 8th (last month it was the 12th), I will receive my third Social Security check. I managed to live right up to 11:59:59 p.m. on August 31st, which means I will get a check since I didn’t kick the bucket anytime during the month. There are no partial monthly payments, you see, because why would a dead guy like me need partial money? If I had up and keeled over, though, Martha would receive a $250 burial benefit. Cripes, she can’t even rent a backhoe to plant me under the bushes in the back yard for $250.

To be truthful, I feel somewhat guilty about taking the money. Martha and I are not desperate or destitute like so many elderly people, but not taking the money would not help any of them anyway. To assuage my guilt I’m putting the money in Martha’s savings to help make up for the rape of her retirement plans by Wall Street and the thieving banks.

But none of this is the really important news. It appears, folks, that the Social Security and Medicare system are in . . . trouble. That’s right, brotheren and sisteren and assorted other brethren, the system is nearly out of money.

According to OneNewsNow on 8/27/09,

"A conservative congressman warns that another taxpayer bailout is likely if the government has to start putting money into the Social Security Trust Fund instead of borrowing money from it.

Earlier this week, the Social Security Administration announced it plans to cancel annual cost-of-living adjustments for the next two years, which means senior citizens will receive less money in that time period [but] their Medicare premiums will still increase.

Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) predicts that the Social Security Trust Fund could be running a deficit as early as next year

Are you folks aware that the money withheld from your pay for Social Security (FICA) and Medicare completely bypasses the Trust Fund and goes directly to the General Fund, where it is instantly spent? That the General Fund issues “special” IOUs to the Trust Fund, to be paid when Social Security or Medicare needs it? That those “special” IOUs are worthless? And that Bachus is an asshole for using the term “borrowing” when he really means “stealing?”

We, the Great Unwashed, the peons, the peasants, the stupid, are dupes of the first order. From Reagan through Obama, every president has knowingly and willingly stolen our TRUST monies and spent them on things like paper clips, toilet paper, and wars.

I think I’m going to take every retirement penny I can get my claws on, totally and completely guilt-free.

Can I hear a big “Amen!”?


Jimmy Bastard said...

Charlie, do you think that there is a Government anywhere in this world who feels guilt as they line their own pockets?

When a man works hard all his life he is entitled to every penny he can get. Guilt is merely fae priests and fools. A conscience is for those who like to sleep well in their beds of a night.

Enjoy the money my friend.

St Jude said...

Mr Bastard summed it up. AMEN.

Kim Ayres said...

$250 should be enough to buy Martha a chainsaw, which will make disposing of your remains much easier.

Hmmm... maybe I could send this idea into Readers Digest!

Kate said...

Kim's idea sounds a bit icky. I suggest Martha donates your body to science and keeps the $250 to spend on fripperies.

PI said...

I'm pretty sure that you and people like you have - like us and people like us, paid your dues in many many ways. Just returns my dear.
How I wish we could synchronise our languages: when you said check I immediately think you are being looked over not given a cheque.

Charlie said...

While I was snuggled up in my third of the bed, the U.K. has spoken.

JIMMY: You've summed it up very nicely, Jimmy, and you're right on every count. I'll take the money and laugh, just like the villains do.

ST JUDE: Thank your for the Amen—it's nice to get some support from a saint.

KIM: Martha thanks you for the suggestion. "Right nice bloke, isn't he?" she said.

KATE: Martha grew up on a farm, so she's quite familiar with ick. She admits, though, that fripperies DO sound much nicer.

PAT: Just returns it is.

And you're right about our languages: the U.S. is the only English-speaking country that doesn't speak English.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Social Security and Medicare are insurance, you have paid for the benefit, you should feel no guilt in receiving it.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the demise of SS is greatly exaggerated. Politicians paint the picture they want you to see. If the $95,000/year income cap were lifted so that wealthy people pay into SS (which they can draw on when THEY retire) the system would be fully funded. Here are some facts from Congressman Peter Defazio's site:

Wandering Coyote said...

Man, you take every penny that they send to you, for crying out loud, without guilt! Seriously.

Charlie said...

ROBERT: I totally agree about lifting the cap on SS. Think of all the CEOs and pro athletes who make $20 mil a year and are done paying at $95 thousand. I considered adding this to the post, but I didn't want to get too complex because of all the non-U.S. readers.

DeFazio has an informative site—I spent quite a bit of time there.

WC: For crying out loud, WC, I will.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Don't worry, Charlie, we well know the duplicities of the social insurance systems. One of the amusing things this side of the pond is seeing (not reading!) newspapers slagging off "social security scroungers" knowing full well that their proprietors' multiple layers of tax avoidance means they pay less tax than I do.

Meg said...

Amen, I say. I have a feeling this isn't going to be around when my husband and I retire. Well, when he retires, I guess, because I don't have anything to retire from... Anyway. You should enjoy every penny of that money because it is your money, anyway.

Tiffin said...

Amen, Brother Worm, Amen! Guilt is for those who don't feel fully dressed unless they are wearing a hair shirt. A hair shirt in the heat of Arizona would itch something awful.

Charlie said...

KEVIN: Cheating social systems is an art and very profitable no matter where one lives. Any goverment-run program is bound to have numerous holes in it.

MEG: Since you have nothing to retire from, I suggest that you save every non-penny of it.

TIFFIN: Thank you for the two Amens! Maybe we should have a revival of some sort.

Hair shirts in the desert? The burlap ones Martha buys me are even worse.