It is appalling The Tampa Tribune would print The Associated Press article "Social Security is not deal it once was for workers" (front page, Aug. 6), perpetuating the incorrect conception that workers will not "get back" what they paid in Social Security taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, benefits to those on Social Security are not the FICA taxes they paid when they worked. FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contribution Act. Social Security is an insurance contribution plan, not an investment plan and not a pension plan. The FICA taxes I paid when I worked were used to pay benefits to those already receiving Social Security. The benefit I now receive as a recipient of Social Security is funded, in part, by FICA taxes paid by those currently employed.
Second, during the 46 years I was employed, I paid $44,853 in Social Security taxes. I have now been on Social Security for four years and have already received more than I paid on Social Security taxes so, in my opinion, reporter Stephen Ohlemacher is sorely in need of proper education. (Just as an aside, Social Security was originally intended to pay benefits only to men).
The problems with Social Security begin with the fact that Social Security taxes are deducted only to salaries up to $110,100. I feel this cap should be raised, including Medicare taxes. The other problem we face is the number of those receiving benefits has increased and will continue to increase relative to the number of those employed people paying into the insurance contribution program. Don't get me started on the politicians who had the temerity to use money in that fund for other purposes.
Sun City Center
Regarding "Legg, Lee and Frishe in GOP Senate primary" (Our Views, July 15):
I began running for the state Senate to challenge the ethically challenged. There was a switcheroo maneuver wherein Tallahassee handpicked a replacement for the ethically challenged with one who is residentially challenged.
My strategy has been unchanged. Grassroots campaigning is the only way to outwork big money. Our volunteers had 2,850 ballot petitions approved — more, by far, than any other Senate candidate in Florida. This happy band of campaigners for freedom has knocked on almost 6,000 doors. I have more than 200 hours of personal appearances at heavy rush-hour intersections to greet people with a smile and a wave amid a gazillion beeps! In five months I have more than 200 contributions from family, friends and small business owners. These are real people who ask only that I do my best, not those who give in order to receive.
I believe the government budget should not grow faster than the family budget. In the 2005-2006 sessions the Republican-controlled Legislature passed back-to-back "hogarific" budgets comprising a 23 percent increase in state spending. No family in Florida got that kind of raise. The residentially challenged incumbent House member voted for that nonsense. Since it was Jeb's last two budget approvals, which may explain why he's backing the machine's man. But remember, the last guy Jeb backed in this district was Jim Norman.
I am a 33-year small business owner, an engineer, an eight-year legislator with proven integrity in office, a rock-solid conservative, taxpayer friendly and a good package for these times. The "Senatocracy" has made me an unwanted outsider, and that's fine with me. If the people want the same, then stick with the machine. If they want to see some sparks fly, give me a ticket to Tallahassee for better government.