Online Letter to the Editor for Aug. 22
Writer should look to herself before pointing fingers
On Aug. 12 I opened up The Sunday Gazette Opinion section. After perusing the front page, I went to Page 2 and saw a headline for a letter to the editor: “Stay-at-home spouses milking Social Security.” My first reaction, before I even started to read the letter was, what nincompoop wrote this? Then I started reading it and I was appalled. When I saw who wrote it, I was aghast. It was Shelda Roerig and I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I have known Shelda for more than 20 years. At one point, I was her supervisor at a state agency for about three years. What Shelda wrote in that letter makes absolutely no sense.
To blame non-working spouses of people who work for the troubles of Social Security shows a clear lack of knowledge of the problems with it.
A little research would have shown Shelda that Social Security was never set up and funded properly to sustain itself. It would have also shown her that the federal government has been “borrowing” from it for 43 years now.
To ask someone whose spouse is not working to pay double the Social Security tax to cover the spouse’s potential death benefits is ludicrous. It is so nonsensical my eyes were catching fire as I read it.
If a non-working spouse were to collect Social Security, it would only be after their spouse who had worked passed away. They would not collect the full amount that the spouse who worked collected, and still only one spouse would be collecting Social Security. Yes, there is an extra benefit, because the spouse who paid into Social Security has died and is no longer collecting their benefits.
Then Shelda talks about how both parents should work because a family with a stay-at-home parent does not have a beneficial effect on the couple’s children, despite numerous studies to the contrary. Beyond that is the additional cost of day care for the children, which, depending on how many kids the couple has, could easily eat up the added income the second working spouse makes. I say if you can survive with one spouse working, go for it.
Shelda then goes the hypocrisy route by saying it is great for a child whose parent died to collect the parent’s Social Security benefit. Or, for the disabled person who can’t work to collect Social Security. As if those people who may never have paid a dime into the system are somehow that much better than a spouse who didn’t work. By the way, the spouse could have been a disabled person who could not work.
And the icing on the hypocrisy cake is her blast at pensions. Shelda worked for the state. I believe she was a Tier 1 or Tier 2 pensioner, which means she didn’t contribute a dime toward her pension that I am pretty sure she is now receiving. Plus she is getting Social Security.
Talk about someone getting a pension off of someone else’s dime. My goodness!
John A. Gaetani