Baby Boomers: What we can do to help seniors?

Baby Boomers: What we can do to help seniors?

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Seniors worked hard and allowed the government to take money to invest in Social Security during their many years of work. Yet, when seniors retire, the government taxes that money which it used, if the senior has other income. Social Security Income should be non-taxable so seniors can continue to work. And we need to give tax breaks to employers for hiring seniors

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

I remember when my mother took me to Stony Island Avenue to get my Social Security card in 1966.

I was really excited. I just didn’t really know why. They gave me a paper card with nine numbers on it that I have till this day. It’s the first thing I memorized, and never forgot.

I didn’t know what it meant back then. I was only 13. But now, 50 years later as Social Security celebrates its 80th anniversary, it’s one of the most important things I think about.

I’ve saved money over the years, but I never kissed political ass to earn a gold-plated, bloated pension, like the ones so many people in government get today. Imagine, people retiring on pensions that are twice the salary they received and they only had to work a few years to “earn” it.

Well, we know how corrupt the pension system is. But do we know how incompetent the Social Security system really is?

Social Security Card

Social Security Card

Seriously, we are dealing with elderly people who are slowly losing their ability to care for themselves or even think clearly. We have given them the most complicated bureaucracy on earth to help them through old age. Social Security has more than 3,000 different rules dealing with hundreds of different retirement scenarios.

I read through all the material Social Security provides and its junk. For the life of me, I can’t make clear sense out of it.

I do know that creating the mandatory Social Security system was the best thing this country ever did. I know human nature as a journalist for more than 40 years now. Human beings are procrastinators and skeptics. They just don’t believe they’ll get sick, have bad luck, or lose their job. If left to them, most people would have nothing socked away in a savings for retirement.

Wake up people. The Lottery, another government scam, by the way, is NOT a good retirement strategy!

We must change the Social Security system.

We paid good money – money that was worth something when it was taken from us in taxes some 40 years or more ago. A dollar in 1966 was worth far more than a dollar is today. And even if you put away a dollar a day, you would have a lot of money but as the investment increases exponentially, the inflation eating away its value decreased at an even greater rate.

It’s an illusion. The money you thought you have saved is worth far, far less than what it was when you socked it away.

Social Security needs a new system that holds the hands of each retirement age senior and walks them through enrollment.

No senior should be afraid that may make the wrong choice in their social security planning. Social Security should ensure that every senior automatically gets the maximum benefit they can receive. That means eliminating “penalties” if you don’t check in by a certain date. Eliminate choice and options.

Seniors should not be punished for working either. They shouldn’t have to pay taxes on their social security. They should be allowed to work, and only pay taxes on the income they earn at their jobs.

Businesses should be given tax incentive savings for hiring employees over the age of 60 and any business that fires an employee over the age of 50 should be penalized.

Quit whining young people. You don’t need to eat or sleep or worry about health problems. It’s seniors – us baby boomers – who need the help.

If we get these things done today, you’ll thank us in the future.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter. Reach him at

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This post has already been read 2139 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com
Ray Hanania