Social Security seems to offer litle sense of security

Published 6:26 am Wednesday, January 16, 2002

I find it shocking and a little bit disconcerting that the age at which Americans born after 1960 can qualify for Social Security is going to rise from 65 to 67.
I began my first job at the age of 13, working on my grandfather's soybean and cotton farm. Though the pay wasn't much, I noticed early on that what I made wasn't what I had the opportunity to spend. In fact, a large percentage of what I made I never saw.
Then I heard about the seven-plus percent that went to SSI, an additional amount that went to state income tax, the federal income tax and when all was said and done, I was making 25 percent less than I was making.
From my earliest complaint about the SSI deduction until today, my mother has said, "One day, that money will be yours and you'll be glad they held it out."
I maintain that I could invest the money better than Uncle Sam could invest it, but I figured she was mostly right. It was like a savings account.
Not meaning to knock a system that has helped millions of people pay for their homes, the cars and their lives, I find myself questioning what will be left when my time comes around. Or even whether I'll stand a remote chance of being alive by then because of increases on age limitations.
I don't care what some people call it, I call it wrong. Just dead wrong.
Government expects to keep growing and growing and as it does, it will keep taking and taking from the American system until the shops will close and we will all work for the state in a George Orwell novel gone mad.
Government is here to protect us from others, not to seek to improve the quality of life for each one of us. That is something our founding fathers left up to us.
But as government grows end over end, it seems to want more control over our lives and where they are headed. It seems to know what's best for us and what's not.
And now, one of the final promises that government made me, that there would be something waiting for me in the end thanks to my sacrifice, erodes the little confidence I have in government.
I find it nauseating that we watched an 80-year experiment in socialism fail, yet we are continuing down a road to the same end. Socialized education, health care, and housing already exist in our society, and other elements are being added daily. I wish the government would ease the SSI deduction a little at a time to phase the program out so that hard-working Americans could have more of the things they are working for.
Those who count on SSI could be provided for, and those of us who will never see a dime of our money returned could invest elsewhere and quit clinging to a vanishing thread of hope that one day we will have what we have worked to obtain for so many years.
Brian Blackley is the publisher of The Atmore Advance. He may be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 368-2123.

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