I would like to respond to Mr. John A. Ristow’s challenge on Social Security (Letters, Oct. 29). I paid my first FICA tax at age 16 and my last at 67. I paid the top FICA tax my last 11 years of employment. I think I am qualified to discuss the issue.
Suppose in my 51 years of employment I chose to work part of the year and spend the rest on the beach? Would I still get close to his maximum benefit? Social Security only deals with income, not hours worked or difficulty of the job.
I would agree to lifting the cap on taxable salary. In the 11 years that I maxed out, I appreciated the extra income in December but could have lived without it. I would also think that someone with income of say a quarter of a million might have their Social Security benefit means tested. It is done with Medicare now.
We could also increase the age for full retirement again. I was born in 1939 but had to wait until I was 65 and 4 months to get the full benefit. My wife has to wait even longer. Another adjustment would be in order considering the increasing life expectancy. Perhaps the full retirement age could be tied to the life expectancy in the U.S.
Between myself and my employers, we put some $185,000 into the system! To cut my benefit is income redistribution plain and simple. I get the feeling that Mr. Ristow is looking for that outcome.