Ross: Paying out Social Security later might be the reality we have to accept

Nov 2, 2023, 8:02 AM | Updated: 9:35 am

social security reality...

FILE - A Social Security card is displayed on Oct. 12, 2021, in Tigard, Ore. About 71 million people including retirees, disabled people and children receive Social Security benefits. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

I don’t want to be too specific because this is confidential information, and I expect you to keep it to yourselves. But a certainly elderly couple I know has been informed by the U.S. Government that their Social Security benefit is now $67,536 a year.

Now, to some of you, that may not sound like a lot. You’re saying, heck, Justin Verlander makes that much throwing four pitches.

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But here I am still working – and I get it anyway.

And since Social Security payments come out of the U.S. Treasury, it means a chunk of the federal deficit is my fault. If the government shuts down in two weeks, I must point the finger at myself, right after I point it at Mike Johnson.

Yes, I could donate it to the government, but for some reason, I don’t.

Which brings me to the op-ed in the New York Times that inspired this confession.

It’s headlined “Older Americans Should Work More and Take Less.”

It was written by a couple of Social Security experts, who, like me, are over 70 – and who point out that our generation is sucking the Treasury dry.

Because the creators of Social Security, who came up with the idea back when everybody smoked themselves to death and drove without seatbelts, never dreamed so many of us would live this long. Retiring at 65 back in 1940 is like retiring at 77 today.

So the op-ed suggests several changes: raising the minimum retirement age, extending the Social Security tax to higher incomes, and – very importantly – relaxing the disability rules so people in physically demanding jobs can retire earlier than those of us who just sit around and talk.

I realize that if I were making this argument from the studios of Radio France, by noon, the Champs-Elysses would be packed with angry crowds singing the finale from Les Miserables.

But this is America, we can face reality when we have to.

So I’m asking my fellow senior citizens whose Social Security payments are gravy to read the NYT piece and not instantly reject it because the consequences will fall on those cute little grandchildren who hug your knees when they see you.

At the very least, you should start giving them Costco gold bars at Christmas so they can pay their taxes when they grow up.

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Ross: Paying out Social Security later might be the reality we have to accept