My Dec. 26 letter to the editor was a reminder of the Social Security Act that was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 so that there would never be another time that seniors would again starve to death, something that happened during the Great Depression (1930–1938).
The letter was a reminder that from 1949 to 1979 that 0.5% of a person's salary was finally paid into the fund by the employee and the employer matched it. Then in 1980, it was raised to 3% ... and remained at that rate until most seniors retired during the 1990s.
What should surprise most of today's seniors is that their first few Social Security checks equaled an amount greater than what they actually put into the fund!
As stated in my letter, today's workers are contributing a heck of a lot more into the fund than we did. They're having 6.2% taken out of their pay and their employer is also contributing an additional 6.2%. (It's obvious that today's workers are not only having to put in the needed funds into their own retirement ... but they're also paying ours ... and for that we (seniors) should be saying, a big thanks!)
The reason I'm bringing this matter to the attention of most seniors is that the lack of funding for the meal program is largely due to the fact that many who do take advantage of it don't contribute. And yes, it's true that “no one will be denied services because of inability or unwillingness to contribute.”
Living in a senior citizen complex enables me to sometimes hear those who do participate in the meals program and what they think of it. Sometimes we're also aware of who's paying for their meals or not. It's when we hear those who don't contribute — but are able to — criticize the food they're getting for free!
Recently when someone was doing just that, I responded, “if you're getting it for free, then don't criticize it!” And, to the others who can afford it, it's time to do the correct thing and pay for your meals!
Too often it's seniors who criticize others who are “taking advantage of the system!” Well, it's time for some of those same seniors to stop taking advantage of the system also!
Joyce Hackett Smith-Moore