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The truth about Social Security
August 06, 2011, 02:05 AM Letter


It is not clear from Ken Hickmott’s letter, "The lies about Social Security” in the Aug. 1 edition of the Daily Journal, whether he supports it or not. No matter. From my own experience, I can provide a truth about Social Security.

In the early ’70s, with a wife, five children and a challenging lifestyle, I had occasion to query the SSA regarding the benefits my children would receive in the event that fate rendered them fatherless. I suggested to the SSA that since I had paid the maximum into the system during my years of employment, that the benefits should be the maximum.  

Their response was that it would be based upon my age.      

The bottom line revealed that my children would get considerably less than a like-sized family with a father 10 years my junior.  

Nevermind that my contributions had matched every one of those from the other father, plus an additional 10 earlier years of maximum contributions.    

When I asked how such inequity could exist, I was told that it was an insurance policy. When I asked how I might cancel this "insurance policy” they suggested that I be "serious.” I am serious.    

As a candidate for U.S. Senate in 1982, I delivered a speech to the Republican Convention in Monterey (see: in which I said: "Social Security, which ostensibly is an insurance program, confiscates more than $4,000 per year from the average young American family. This loss of income makes home ownership an obscure dream and the housing industry suffers. That’s a crime!”     

Today, it is a bigger crime which exacts more than $10,000 per year from many families.

Jack Hickey

Emerald Hills

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