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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
April 13, 2002

In The Wrong Job?

Social Security For The U.S. Nobility

This was sent to me recently. I believe it has been around for a while, but with the annual fleecing of the sheep coming around again, it's appropriate to be reminded of.

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. 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), 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. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds, i.e. the taxpayers.

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 under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us and then watch how fast they would fix it.

Note added May 10, 2002

Ed in Chicago informs me the story isn't to simple and sent me the following, so in the interests of completeness I'm passing it on. If the story I got was in fact misleading, the link that Ed gives at the end might be useful to many people as a general reference in the future.

Correction to "Senator's don't pay Social Security" post:

The Truth
Congressional pensions are controversial and many believe they should be reformed, but this email has several inaccuracies. First, it is not true that members of congress don't pay into Social Security. It's been required of them since 1983, according to Andrew G. Biggs, Social Security Analyst for the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.. Additionally, Biggs says Congress does have its own retirement plan which does pay a generous pension to retired members of congress plus they are eligible for the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401k-type investment program available to all federal employees. Depending on a person's length of service, it is possible to retire with annual income that is equivalent to a Congressional salary, but no member of Congress automatically retires with his or her salary being paid as pension.

By no means do I mean to defend US Senators, but I thought the truth may as well be known. I received this information from a site called: www.truthorfiction.com which you may want to give a look as they clear up many misgivings spread through the internet in many categories . . .

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