When my husband went to college, he resented the fact that someone he grew up with was eligible for a scholarship and he wasn’t. His neighbor’s family made more money, but saved nothing. My husband’s family paid off their mortgage and put away a remarkable amount of money for their slender income. From my husband’s point of view, he was cheated. His neighbor lived better and still got a scholarship. He didn’t understand that scholarships are not a reward for a low income, but a means to educate people who would otherwise not be educated.
There are people who would make social security into something different than what most people understand it to be. Instead of being a pension that was earned by years of payments, it would be a means of supporting the elderly in need. Translation: welfare for the elderly. Affluent elderly need not apply.
Is it fair? Well, the only completely fair way would be to tell people that anyone sixteen and older will be on the old system and the younger people will be contributing to a welfare fund, but I don’t think the government is willing to wait until those sixteen-year-olds reach sixty-two to begin reaping the benefits.
The new vs. old system has been done. The Federal Retirement system changed so that new hires were forced into the new system in 1984. The benefits of the new system to the government are probably just starting to show up.
When an individual or company breaks a contract with someone, he has the option of going to court. The government can change the laws and do what it pleases. The government has behaved honorably in the past, but finances may make that impossible. I hope the government at least attempts to keep part of it’s implied promise to workers.
Tags: Income tax