A Good Idea

elderly man suffering from a pain, vector illustration

It is that time again. The politicians on the airwaves are more common than the ads for underarm deodorants. This means it is time for us Americans to again focus on the issues that are most important, such as: how do we get these Bozos off the air before the next edition of SportsCenter comes on.

My biggest gripe about politicians during the year before election years is that they only want to talk about the issues of their own choice. I want to know what they are going to do to get more fresh seafood up here to the desert, I haven’t had a good oyster in years. Or what they plan to do so that the small market teams in major league baseball can compete, and whether there should be federal legislation aimed at the designated hitter rule. The politicians running for office, however, are not listening to me. They only want to talk about their own favorite issues and that favorite issue always seems to be what a compete and udder doofus their opponent is and that he or she could not lead the country across the street on a green light.

Today, however, I want to address a very crucial issue that is of importance to me.

With the onset of the twenty-first century, facing yet another birthday, and having left seventy mostly misspent years in my wake, I am becoming increasingly concerned with the issue of Social Security.

When I got my first job at a whopping buck-twenty an hour back in the ice age, it was a shock to me when payday came and I did not get what I felt was a full paycheck. I knew what I should have. It was a very simple formula. You multiplied the number of hours you worked with what you were being paid per hour. I had hauled hay bales for a local farmer for twelve hours a day for six straight days and according to the math I had learned in Mrs. Skillet’s room in the fourth grade that was 72 hours times a buck-twenty. I had a whole whopping eighty-six dollars and forty cents coming to me and I wanted to know why the check wasn’t for the entire amount.

It was explained to me that this was for social security. The government takes a little out of each of your paychecks and then when you retire, they give it back to you so you can live when you are done working.

I didn’t like that. First, I pretty much doubted the possibility of making it that long with my present track record of luck and bad choices. Second, nobody talked to me about it and when someone takes your money without talking to you first, it seems a bit like thieving and it disappointed me that the same government that was once headed up by Honest Abe was now in the thieving business. And to top it all off, the govt. took over a brothel that was behind on their taxes, and they bankrupted the brothel. Anybody who can not make money selling booze and sex, I don’t want to trust them with my money.

Of course, I ended up accepting this rude awakening like every other worker, but I went through a lot of work years with a big misconception about the way this was going to work. You see, I thought when the government took that money from me that they kept in a really safe place for me like some sort of giant cookie jar or a giant piggy bank with my name on it so that when I got old enough, I could get all my own money back.  Well, color me stupid.

What actually happens is that they take money from a person who is still working to pay for my Social Security. (I checked on this, and MY money actually comes from one Hortense P. Smellybelly of South Frogsphincter, Arkansas.)

So far this is working out well because there are so many of us “baby boomers” still in the workforce to support a smaller number of retired people. The problem is what happens when all of us baby boomers, which comprise the largest segment of the population, want to all retire and we are left to live on all the social security being collected from all the people from generation X – of which there are too few? I’ll tell you what will happen: the system will last as long as Saddam’s crack army during Desert Storm.

So, we need a way to save some of that money so that those of us that need it badly will have it available to us without turning the Generation Xer’s into indentured servants. I offer the following solutions and invite any of the present politicians to borrow heavily from it if they would like:

First: anyone who has ever used one of the following phrases during his or her lifetime: “I have made several big killings in the market over the years,” “I think we will winter in Barbados this year.”  “One can not seem to find any good domestic help these days.”  “I don’t know what to do with our other home over in Tuscany. We just don’t seem to use it.”  “Here, light one up, they’re Cuban. A harmless little vice of mine.”  – They cannot receive social security.

Second: anyone who spends their social security check making themselves look younger cannot get social security. (nose jobs, tummy tucks, facelifts) – Can’t get social security. Look old like the rest of us!

Third: anyone who had a job where their paycheck had more zeroes than a computer nerd convention – cannot get social security.

Fourth: if you are a professional athlete and you just signed a seven-year contract for eighty-seven million and then hit .245 with 17 rbi’s; you cannot have social security.

As for the rest of you baby boomers; I hope there is something left for you because I am on the cutting edge of the baby boomer generation and will be drawing while most of you work. Good luck on yours. I’ve got mine.

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