Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Urban Myth: Social Security For All Chain eMail

I received an email from a friend in Boston that had been sent to him from someone that had received it from someone else who had received it from another and so on. The header of the email was over a page long, and I would usually just delete it because it couldn't be very important.

The title intrigued me, though: "Subject: FW: Let's Act on This One............"

It didn't seem like a God-Loves-Little-Kittens-And-The-World-Is-A-Beautiful-Place-Because-Boys-Are-Dying-In Iraq-For-Your-Freedom-And-I-Just-Sent-This-To-Fifteen-Of-My-Closest-Friends chain letter, so I read on.

To my surprise, it was a plea to contact your US Senator and US Rep and ask them to repeal the special congressional retirement fund. According to the email, Senators and Representatives received their salary for life upon retirement.

This is appalling, of course, and I set out to find the truth.

This is the email:

This is worth the read. It's short and to the point.)

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month -- and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the federal government to "put away,"

You may be interested in the following:

So pass this on please! 2004 Election Issue and this is a must! Please! Keep it going.

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congress men & women do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan. For all practical purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.

For example, former Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each. Their cost for this excellent plan is $00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds-our tax dollars at work!

From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into-every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer) --we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement. Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000.. monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it.

If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe good changes will evolve.

How many people can YOU send this to? PLEASE!!

I started Googling and I found these articles:

Break The Chain
Media Desk
Your Congress

There were many more reporting the same thing: this a hoax. Though our elected officials in Washington do have an excellent retirement plan, it is not as offensive as this chain letter would have me believe.

It does spark me to learn how much congress costs us after they retire; but that will be for another day.