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Social Security debate could produce good

| February 24, 2005 11:00 PM

To the Editor:

With the exception of President Bush, no one believes in his Social Security Plan.

The major reason that the Congress doesn't believe in it is that they see a major source of pork going up the chimney. The first thing that the President should do is push through a "lock box" plan, that is that all money contributed to Social Security funds shall be spent on nothing but Social Security. As the situation now stands, with the exception of paying all present Social Security accounts, the rest is spent for anything and everything and is replaced with IOU's.

Congress is running around fear mongering. Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy like to scare senior citizens by telling them that if they don't vote right and tell their Congresspeople to follow suit, their benefits will be cut. Republicans can't break their interns loose to get the facts. Even if half of them had the facts they wouldn't believe them.

Now to scare you all to death: thousands of federal employees have had semi-private accounts in connection with Social Security for years. Before 1986 all federal employees belonged to Civil Service Retirement System. From 1986 on, new employees went into Federal Employees Retirement System which is directly linked to Social Security. Some employees under CSRS were given the option of joining the new system.

Under the new system, the government will match up to 4 percent of the amount an employee can contribute to their retirement. At first these funds could only be put into government certificates, but as time went on, a commission was set up to find mutual funds that a person could put money into. During the 90's some of these funds returned over 20 percent. These funds allow a person to retire at age 55 and have income until they can collect Social Security.

You hear that this is like gambling, but you have to look at the age of the persons who will be doing this. At age 20, they have about 45 working years to watch these funds grow. Over the years, even during the Depression, stocks earned money. We'll have to watch carefully as this all develops, but if obstructionists don't stand in the way, a good product should result.

Richard Williams

Troy