Letters to the Editor

Social Security isn't all that great

A Jan. 24 letter ("Social Security would work if not raided") described the Social Security system as the premier example of a successful government program. A monthly $1,000 (slightly more than the actual average) Social Security check for an expected lifetime of 20 years equals a total cost of $240,000. This cost is fully borne by current taxpayers (contrary to popular assumption, one's payments into the system are not credited to an account for the payee).

Instead, consider a single, one-time deposit of $6,273 into an individual account earning 5 percent per annum. If made upon an individual's birth, then at age 65 that fund would provide the exact same benefit for the exact same time period. Which would we rather pay for the same benefits -- $6,273 or $240,000? It's not that these benefits aren't worthy, but rather there is no incentive to devise them effectively, nor run them proficiently, and so they are not. I challenge anyone to name a successful state or federal benefit program that is also cost-effective. Other than the GI Bill from World War II, I am aware of none.

So Hillary and Barack -- we're already wasting a bunch of money; we're not interested in pouring more down the drain.