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Vertrees: ‘Notch victims’ another useless Social Security game

Carrol Vertrees

Carrol Vertrees

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Updated: October 3, 2012 6:09AM



Like a sneaky, sleeping virus, this thing has struck again — at older people, like me. Now, by golly, it is trying to entice my wife and probably other young women into sending money so that they can be compensated for being a “victim” of an old Social Security snafu.

Lay off, I say. Mrs. V and Mr. V do not need Washington pen pals like that.

What I am talking about is the infamous “Notch Victim” campaign. She is not a victim and neither am I or anybody else in our age bracket.

Most folks who read this are not old enough to be targeted, but they may know someone who is.

There are a few million of us in this “victim” list and an organization in Washington says that we are owed about $5,000 each.

Nonsense.

Paying us off would cost big money. It won’t happen. Be glad.

If you wonder what this is all about, here is a brief review: In 1972 Congress created a formula to protect Social Security from inflation and it made a big mistake. The error was corrected in 1977. Seniors born between 1910 and 1916 got a windfall — they got to keep the increase that was created because of an error.

Congress, in a kind moment, gave retired people born between 1917 and 1921 a break — the increase was prorated over five years to ease the pain. But the folks caught in that notch wanted the windfall, too. Actually, some smart guys told them they were entitled to it.

They didn’t get it, but activists, helped by the Senior Citizen League, want every “notch” baby and those up to five years younger — born between 1921 and 1926 — to get the windfall. Some smart enterprising guys have kept this foolish dream alive. Maybe they can’t find real jobs.

It is ridiculous. Of course, I am old and may not understand how it works, but I know that I am not a victim of anything and am not owed any money.

My free advice is to trash the latest communication from the League folks, because this is a futile, misdirected campaign. It raises false hopes, rather like the impossible dream. Sending money is a waste.

Suppose that the guy in front of me at our favorite ATM asks for $200 and gets $220. It is a mistake. Am I due that windfall, too? Am I a “victim?” Of course not.

I could use the $5,000 but I won’t get it, and don’t deserve it.

This campaign may go on until we old duffers, male and female, are gone. Maybe longer. Then what will these letter writers do for profitable fun?

Years ago, Congress actually decided something — concluding that the “Notch” folks are not owed anything, but activists won’t let go. I reckon they need something to do.

This just does not make sense. We are worried about how to keep Social Security alive for years to come, and this piece of nonsense is still alive.

Younger folks should pay attention, too, and keep the pressure on so they can collect the Social Security money they are entitled to. If nonsense like this notch thing is not stopped, they may become the real victims of the games some people like to play with Social Security.

Social Security’s future, not its past, is the real issue.



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