Letters to the Editor

Let workers control their hard-earned money

Monday's letter, "Future looks bleak for retiring boomers," concludes that privatizing money paid into Social Security should not be an option because "giving money to Wall Street is not the answer." This is an invalid and insulting conclusion.

The money I put into Social Security little by little during my entire working life was mine. I earned it. It was taken from every paycheck and turned over to the federal government to hold in trust, ostensibly for my retirement. That money doesn't belong to the government, nor does it belong to Wall Street. It is (or was) mine.

Privatizing Social Security simply means the money would go into an individual account with that worker's name on it. That gives individuals "ownership" of their money. The government required us to relinquish ownership. We handed over a chunk of the fruits of our labors to the government -- little by little over a lifetime of work.

I would have preferred to have that money in an individually owned account to accumulate as the source of funding for my retirement. It would have been my responsibility to manage that account, not the government's and certainly not Wall Street's. Whatever happened to individual responsibility? Whatever happened to individual liberty? That all changed with the advent of Social Security.

Had FDR established individual accounts for each worker's "contributions," we would not have a broken system today. Workers are better at handling our own hard-earned money than the government is. Retirees are reminded of that every day.

Jane Kenny