Letter to Sen. Bennet re Social Security
I received your email and signed your petition about Social Security, but it is a sore point for me.
I am retired from the State Department Foreign Service. I also earned enough quarters working in the private sector to qualify for Social Security.
Because of my Foreign Service retirement, my Social Security is reduced from a normal benefit of over $400 per month to an actual $48 per month that I receive from Social Security. This amounts to a tax of about 90% on my Social Security benefits because I served my country in the US Foreign Service.
I am willing to sacrifice for my country. I am also a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army artillery on the DMZ from 1969-1970. I know that Social Security is underfunded, and am willing to do my part to preserve it.
But it makes me mad that rich people pay only a small part of their income into Social Security. Contributions are capped at the first $117,000 of earnings. For many rich people, this means that the Social Security tax is negligible, while for poor people, the Social Security tax is much higher than their income tax. Meanwhile, for many investors, such as hedge fund managers, even income tax is capped at 20%, which may be a lower rate than the Social Security tax on the working poor. Wall Street investors would scream bloody murder if they were taxed at 90%, as my Social Security is.
This is an example of extreme income inequality legally established by the United States Government. I am happy to do my part to help save Social Security, but why should I contribute to government welfare programs for billionaires on Wall Street?
Something is rotten in Washington!