The Social Security contract

Weldon Cohick, in his LTE “Cost of living suggestion”, writes “I’m a firm believer that if a raise is given to the younger and more fortunate in this country, then everyone else should also receive the same amount. If anyone disagrees with me then they are not retired … I would ask them if they are living on $700 a month like many seniors are trying to do. For those who are not, they should refrain from reaching such conclusions, as to why the seniors in this category should be helped instead of being condemned.”

Social Security is a contract, albeit forced, with the worker.

It says that the worker and his employer will pay into the system a set amount based on the wage of the worker.

At retirement age, SS will pay the worker a set amount each month based on his earnings. There is no guarantee of cost of living raises.

Help, in the form of other government social programs, are available to those making $700/month in Weldon’s example.

The letter writer then goes on to blame government workers for his plight and the reason for the increased cost of living. While that does add to the property taxes he may be paying, it is not the major cause of inflation as he suggests.

The problem with social security is that its design was as a safety net for seniors too old to support themselves.

It was not meant to be the sole income for 20 or more years after retirement. Inflation has caused prices to go up 52% since 1997 when Weldon would have been 65. That’s why financial and retirement planners everywhere are telling us to look for ways to supplement social security.

I can sympathize with our seniors’ financial position. I watched my mom and grandparents struggle financially.

Many of them either didn’t heed the warning or didn’t have the extra cash to put away. There are many more following in their footsteps.

Where Weldon and I disagree is in his insistence that he deserves a raise every time a working person receives one.

I do empathize with those who are disabled and/or have limited financial resources. Where I take exception is in the entitlement mindset.

Mike Kerstetter

Watsontown

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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