Thursday, July 07, 2005

Lost Money

It's a silly little thing, I know, but I have to get it off my chest.

A couple of weeks ago, I received my largest paycheck from Disney (I work at EPCOT at Disneyworld, by the way, for those of you unfamiiar with me). I had worked 54 hours, and since 14 of those hours were overtime, I got paid for 61 hours. I expected to get about 400 dollars, after they took out my gym membership fees and other little nicks here and there. Florida has no state income tax, and I don't make $9,000 a year as a student, so I'm federal tax exempt.

But when I got the check, it was only for about $370. The bastards took $30 of my money to pay into Social Security.

Now, I've been at least partially employed and documented as such for over two years, in various locales and positions. But I'd never been paid any more than $200 dollars at any one time, so my Social Security tax- and that's what it is, a tax- was always relatively low. But $30 seems outrageous to me, especially because I know I'm never going to see that money again, AND I'm already a poor college student that can use all the help I can get, AND $30 would actually go a long way towards my expenses.

I just completely lost it. I went ballistic. I was swearing at the computer screen, I was in an awful mood all night- and really for no rational reason. It's not the end of the world, it's just a couple of hours work time lost, and if I'd been responsible for taxes it would have been a lot more. But if it had been for taxes, at least I could have justified it- national defense, police, firefighters, maintenance of roads, statues to local politicians, agregious pork-barrel projects, anything. But I got absolutely nothing out of the deal, and I can't be guaranteed that that money will be there if I still need it when I'm older.

I guestimated that with my 2 years of work, I've paid about $500 into Social Security thus far. Even with less that 2% interest, that money would double nominally by the time I have to retire. So why can't I invest it as I see fit? I understand that today's elderly can't have the rug pulled out from underneath them. Fine, keep the system as it is already for them, and debt-finance mine; it's going to be my generation's responsibility to pay back the debt anyway. But no- I need my hand held by government and if there's no money left in 2055, Nancy Pelosi will be long dead and buried and will have collected her Social Security money.

OK. I feel better now.

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