Friday, August 26, 2011

Hey boy, who are you calling lazy?

I'm sure you saw where one of Florida's US Senators said that we're all lazy because of Social Security and Medicare. He claims that people used to work harder and take better care of one another knowing that they had to provide for their own retirement. Crazy huh. Yeah, I thought so too.

First of all, since we all pay into the Social security system through our payroll taxes we are providing for our retirement. The money in the Social Security coffers doesn't magically appear, it comes from the hard work of millions of Americans. Although millions of other Americans don't pay in their fair share since Social Security taxes are only paid on the first (roughly) $106,000 of income, that means that people making over that amount don't pay any Social Security taxes on anything over the first $106,000. Which means that people making $50,000 a year pay a higher percentage of their income in Social security taxes than someone making $500,000 a year. Crazy huh. Yeah, I thought so too.

Secondly, I'm not lazy and neither are the hundreds of other millions of working class Americans who either paid into the system or are still paying into the system. I started working and paying Social Security taxes when I was 13. And I worked full time, with the exception of a few layoffs in the mid 1990's ever since, until I had my heart attack in 2004. I worked summers during high school, I work odd jobs during my college years, and when I left college in 1985, I went right to work, I didn't go onto grad school. Hell, I didn't want to go to grad school, I wanted to get out in the world and work. And work I did.

I worked a series of shit jobs that were physically and mentally demanding. I worked my way up through a convenience store system to become manager. I worked in a dinner theatre for tips. When I lived in Roanoke I worked two jobs to pay the bills and keep a roof over my head. I worked a a cement pipe factory doing some of the hardest work I have ever done in my life. When I hit my 30's I finally had a series of better paying jobs but I still worked my ass off. When I was in the truck tire business I not only had to handle the office end of the job, I had to stack and load truck tires that weighed over 200 lbs each. I would go home some days so weak and tired that I could barely lift my arms, but I kept at it. When I went into sales even though I wasn't doing as physically demanding a job I was still working hard. If you ever had to demonstrate a product or sell a disinterested person advertising or a cancer insurance policy, you know what I mean, who ever said sales was easy was a fucking liar.

I worked hard. Just like teachers, cops, firemen, waitresses, cooks, janitors, librarians, and other working class people. And just like them I paid my Social Security taxes in to the system. I paid them gladly at times and at others, when I was broke, I grumbled when I paid them. My money kept other going and deep down I was glad to help.

Then in 2004 I had a massive heart attack and once my cardiologist said that a return to work wasn't in the cards for me, I applied for Social Security Disability (SSDI). It took me over a year to get it and I had to hire an attorney to help me get what I had coming to me, which is a fucking travesty if you ask me. Some people who get SSDI at a youngish age say they feel guilty about getting it but not me. After all, I had paid into the system for over 30 years, I met the criteria for disability, and by gawd, I'm happy to get mine while I can. And you know what? Even though I don't pay Social Security taxes anymore I still pay into the system indirectly by helping to pay the wages of the employees of various businesses via my patronage.

So for this elitist creep from Florida to tell me I'm lazy, well he's full of shit. He's got no idea how hard I worked and how much I paid into the system. He sits on his ass and makes judgments about people while he sucks at the government teat. He doesn't pay Social Security taxes on his entire Senate salary, let alone whatever he steals, oops, earns outside of the US Senate.

Hey you hypocritical wet behind the ears junior Senator from Florida, kiss my working class ass. I'm not fucking lazy and neither are the millions of other Americans who pay Social Security taxes on their entire income. If you ask me, you're the fucking lazy one. You're the one who doesn't pay his fair share. You're the one who wants to shred what little is left of the social safety net so your cronies in big business can make more obscene profits. And I hope you're the one who goes belly up in the next financial panic. It would serve you right if you had to go out and actually work for a fucking change.


Caffeinated Joe said...

Well said, Doc.

I was born with physical issues, but I worked from age 16. And I worked full time at nights and took care of my kids during the day. For years, four hours of sleep was a good day.

Eventually, my body gave out and multiple surgeries made going back to work not possible.

So, also at a young age, I have to go on SS. And I have felt guilty, cause even though I know my body can't do what it used to do, my mind still sees myself as a worker. Hard to overcome that, after so long. Have to reconcile myself with it, now and then.

So yeah, it wasn't just "found money". I worked for it and paid into it for this reason.

Anyway, well said.

Anonymous said...

The guy's from Florida? I'm sure his retired constituents, who must be legion, will thank him for trying to free them from the shackles of SS and Medicare.

gmb said...

I think the time has come for politicians to start fearing voters. Rubio needs to remember who he supposedly works for.

ReaderRita said...

Yup, and when I was waitressing, many of the restaurants I worked at required that I pay taxes on the amount of tips the IRS calculated I should get, not the ACTUAL amount I DID get.
They calculated that I got 18% in tips on the gross total of the customer's tab (including bar AND tax, which many people do not tip on), so I had to pay tax on that inflated amount. I ended up paying out more than I actually made after tipping out the busboys, etc- quite frequently. So all those asswipes who watched Reservoir Dogs and think they're being clever by not leaving a tip for their waiter or waitress- go die.
I really want restaurants to switch to a European model and build the cost of paying their workforce into the menu. But they never will, because then your meal will cost double as they'll have to actually pay waiters/waitresses minimum wage. (which they do NOT get now)
But I digress...
Yep, those of us who paid heartily into SS (often while working two or three jobs at a time) are going to get screwed royally.
And who sits on their asses collecting money and living high off the hog? The million and billionaires who only had to pay on their first $106,000 of income, yet are still cashing their Social Security checks even though they aren't enough to even keep their boat houses in flowers for a year.

Kulkuri said...

I think most of those that say they want to get rid of Social Security are pissed because they have to pay taxes on that first 106K of income. There are millions of people that worked damn hard and paid into the system, so they are 'entitled' to receive SS. As for raising the age to retire, that may work for some, but a lot of people work at jobs that are so physically demanding that by the time they reach the current retirement age their bodies are wore out.