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Social Security email: Congress dosn't pay SS and Response

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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:02 PM
Original message
Social Security email: Congress dosn't pay SS and Response
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 12:05 PM by Democrats_win
http://www.sscommonsense.org/page30.html

email:

"Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years.

"Our Senators and Congressmen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, 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 ..... yes, (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. 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. In other words, we would have to get benefits for 68 years and one (l) month to equal Bradley's benefits!

"Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. And 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. 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?"
(This widely circulated email is unsigned.)

The Response

I asked Congressman Gilchrest (R-MD) for a response to this email. His response follows.

You will note from his response there is no truth to the claim that Members of Congress pay "$00.00, Nada, Zilch" into their own retirement.

You will also note that Members of Congress do pay into Social Security at the same rate as everyone else.

And you will note that even those Congressional retirees entitled to the highest retirement benefits are capped at 80% of their pre-retirement salary.

more at the link above...




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KC21304 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. This rubbish was debunked on Snopes years ago.
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, I didn't know. Just received the email and searched
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 12:09 PM by Democrats_win
for the response which I added after you posted. Yes, the email is rubbish. I look for a lot of this in the weeks ahead.
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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yup, here's the link:
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. We've had this one around for ages. We always say: 'snopes it!'
http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/pensions.asp

<snip> # It is not true that Congressmen do not pay into the Social Security fund. They pay into the fund just as most everyone else does. (A few odd exceptions to the Social Security program still exist, both inside and outside of government.)

<snip> # It was true prior to 1984 that Congressmen did not pay into the Social Security fund because they participated in a separate program for civil servants (the Civil Service Retirement System, or CSRS), but that program was closed to government employees hired after 1983:

<snip> In 1983, Public Law 98-21 required Social Security coverage for federal civilian employees first hired after 1983 and closed the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to new federal employees and Members of Congress. All incumbent Members of Congress were required to be covered by Social Security, regardless of when they entered Congress. Members who had participated in CSRS before 1984 could elect to stay in that plan in addition to being covered by Social Security or elect coverage under an 'offset plan' that integrates CSRS and Social Security. Under the CSRS Offset Plan, an individual's contributions to CSRS and their pension benefits from that plan are reduced ('offset') by the amount of their contributions to, and benefits from, Social Security.

<snip> # It is not true that Congressmen "continue to draw their same pay, until they die." The size of their pensions is determined by a number of factors (primarily length of service, but also factors such as when they joined Congress, their age at retirement, their salary, and the pension options they chose when they enrolled in the retirement system) and by law cannot exceed 80% of their salary at the time of their retirement.

On a personal note: Curious that you posted the erroneous email which has long been used to inflame people yet did not post any snips from the debunking site you provided a link to.
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Sorry, I corrected the problem.
I had a computer problem. Thanks again for the link to snopes. I'm simply amazed that I got this email. You are 100% correct, this is meant to inflame people.

Knowing that the truth is available, I wonder, "Have they no shame?"


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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for the edit. Not much point in playing the inflaming bit without
posting some of the debunking too. Thanks for adding some of that.
So often, people don't go to the supplied link, so they miss important stuff. No point eating up DU bandwidth with a bunch of propaganda in its entirety and then not spending bandwidth on the antidote to it ;)

And welcome to the DU!
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