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Retirement account contributions rise

To the Editor:

I'm pretty sure some folks will be complaining about the increase in FICA payroll deductions.

The Republicans like to call it a payroll tax, but that's not true. In reality (the Republicans hate reality) these deductions are a federally mandated savings account.

Way back, during the Roosevelt years, the Democrats figured that it would be a great idea to make it mandatory for workers to put a percentage of their income into a savings account, so when they could no longer work they would have a monthly pension to keep them from becoming a burden on their families or society.

The Republicans were not too keen on this idea. They said people should have the right to save or not save for their own retirements, and that this was infringing on these free choices.

That's what they said, but what they meant but couldn't say is that it was OK for the government to put workers' money in savings for them, but they did not like the fact that companies would have to match those contributions dollar for dollar. In their minds that was just plain old Socialism.

I guess you can give it any name you want, but one thing still rings true after all these years. The system works. It's never missed a payment in all this time, and is has a surplus of around $2.7 trillion.

The FICA deduction will rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent (where it was a couple of years ago).

To put this in perspective, if you're making $15 an hour, you gross $600 a week, your weekly deduction would go up $12, or $1.71 a day, about the price of that donut and coffee you stopped for this morning.

Not really a hardship. And remember this is going to your retirement, and how many of us really would or could contribute voluntarily to such a fund, if we had a choice, especially those of us with smaller incomes?

When you're struggling to get by day to day, saving for your old age is hardly at the top of your list of priorities. is it?

So instead of whining when you see that FICA increase on your pay stub, just smile and be glad you've got a pension in your future.

Also keep stopping for coffee and a donut, every little bit helps the economy. Think of yourself as a patriot.

George Richard

New Richmond