Social Security and You: 100 Social Security Myths Busted
I've just released a new book. It's called "Social Security: 100 Myths and 100 Facts." You can get a hard copy of the book for less than 10 bucks at Amazon.com. You can get an electronic version of the book at barnesandnoble.com and other online booksellers.
Regular readers of this column may recall that I have written dozens of past columns debunking various myths about Social Security that are floating around on the internet and that get passed around, usually via emails, from one unsuspecting (and sometimes gullible) recipient to another. In most of those columns, I usually only have the space to take on three or four such myths. And every time I write such a column, I usually say something like this: "If I had the space, I could probably write a column debunking 100 Social Security myths."
Well, I finally decided to make the space by putting all these myths -- and more importantly, all the corresponding facts -- into one easy-to-read book.
I think the best way to introduce you to the book is to reprint here the introduction that you'll find at the very beginning of the new book. It goes like this:
"Social Security touches the lives of every American. We all have a Social Security number. Most of us work at jobs in which Social Security taxes are taken out of our paychecks, while others have their own businesses and pay self-employment taxes into the Social Security system.
Sixty-five million people are receiving monthly Social Security checks. They are getting either retirement or disability benefits, or they are the spouse or child of someone getting such benefits, or they are the widow, widower or child of a worker who has died.
The trillion-dollar funding of the Social Security program makes up about one-fourth of the entire federal budget of the United States.
So, a government program that is so huge and that affects every one of us is bound to be the focus of many rumors, misunderstandings, half-truths and outright lies.
I have spent the last half-century debunking all those myths. And now, for the first time, I have compiled a list of the top 100 myths about Social Security into one easy-to-read and easy-to-understand guidebook.
Those myths can be broadly divided into two categories. One I will call "Political and Policy Myths." These myths frequently have to do with how the Social Security program is financed.