Three proposals for Personal Retirement Accounts were put forth by the Committee to Strengthen Social Security, appointed by President Bush. This book provides a detailed and candid assessment of those proposals - differentiating the good from the bad.
In addition, How Social Security Picks Your Pocket exposes how Social Security is implemented - who wins, who loses, and how the game is played; and offers suggestions for improvements to the system.
Issue-by-issue, the book gives a guided tour of a system of staggering waste and blatant inequities. Youll learn how average retirees are robbed of benefits benefits that are redirected to wealthier, non-paying beneficiaries. Youll learn about the millions of people who pay lip-service to Social Security but pay nothing else. They dont participate in the system described as their "worst nightmare."
The tour includes a visit with the teachers who become janitors for just one day, to qualify for $100,000 in Social Security benefits each. The book also reviews the amazing 115% tax, inflicted on working seniors. Yes, these people can effectively pay more in tax than they earn.
The tour also includes the growing disability programs. Are you a hypochondriac? Good! You just may qualify for disability benefits. (Check out section 12.07 of the Social Security "Blue Book.") Did you know that one third of all workers getting disability benefits claim to have a mental impairment? Are you up on the latest designer diseases? And, did you realize that only one in every five hundred disabled workers recovers and returns to work despite our miracle cures, technology, and "reasonable accommodations"?
Youll need your "hard hat" when visiting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a welfare program run by Social Security. Its been classified by the GAO as "high risk" due to its habit of paying benefits first, and asking questions later (or never). SSI has its very own disability program, and should be in the Guinness book for once paying benefits to 181 members of one family simultaneously. In this program, more than sixty percent of disabled beneficiaries are paid for claimed mental impairments.
Be advised that the tour includes some unsavory neighborhoods, rife with crime and corruption. There is a discussion of the different schemes and scams used to rip-off the system, and the new and threatening trends on the horizon. The Social Security Administration claims that it cant estimate the amount of fraud in its programs. This book challenges that claim.
Of course, what Social Security tour would be complete without a discussion of insolvency, the trust fund, and Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs)? Is the program really broke? Would PRAs help, or hurt? Youll get the lowdown on these matters, plus insights into a great alternative plan that has been serving retirees longer than Social Security, right here in America. Comparing the benefits of this alternative plan to those of Social Security is an enlightening, if sobering, experience.
The final stop on the tour is the author's dream plan for Social Security. Its a little different than any other proposal. Is it "Shangri-La" or Sham-ri-La? Thats for you to decide.