Thursday, April 21, 2011

How do you turn 5 cents into 17 cents?

Let Social Security do it!

The first Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes were collected beginning in January 1937.  However, under the 1935 Social Security Act, monthly benefits would not begin until 1942 (which was later amended to begin in 1940).  So, from 1937 until 1940, Social Security paid benefits in the form of a single lump-sum payment, which was to provide some "payback" to those who contributed to the program but would not participate long enough to be vested for monthly benefits.

This guy knew when to cash in!
According to, the earliest reported applicant for a lump-sum benefit was a retired Cleveland motorman named Ernest Ackerman, who retired one day after the Social Security program began.  During his one day of participation in the program, a nickel was withheld from Ackerman's pay for Social Security, and upon retiring, he received a lump-sum payment of seventeen cents.

It's the first of the month, so cash your checks and get up
As mentioned earlier, monthly Social Security benefit payments began in January 1940.  Who received the first monthly retirement check?  Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, a legal secretary who retired in November 1939.  Her first check was issued on January 31, 1940, when she was 65 years old.  She lived to the age of 100, dying in 1975.  For the three years she worked under the Social Security program, the accumulated FICA taxes on her salary totaled $24.75.  Her initial monthly check was $22.54, and she went on to collect a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.

So now we have all of these politicians in Washington DC complaining about the deficit and the national debt, and how Social Security is a drain on the system, and that we need to fix it.  NONSENSE, I say!!  If anything, we need the government to start paying into the Social Security system!  If Ernest Ackerman can turn his 5 cents into 17 (that's a 340% increase!!), why can't the government do the same?  Better yet, if the feds pay into the system long enough to start collecting monthly benefits, maybe they can capitalize like Ida May Fuller, who saw her investment return at 92,480%!!!  What did that take, three years?

Here's an idea, Mr. President - if our national debt is $14 trillion, all we need to invest in Social Security over the next three years is $15,135,135,136.00, and then we can just sit back and watch the checks come in and take care of the debt!

That's just 36 easy monthly payments of $420,420,420!

But wait, that's not all!  If you call right now, The Billy Blog will throw in this tub of Oxi Clean at no extra charge!
Billy Mays, why did you have to die so soon?


  1. Great way in earning money and I miss Billy Mays =(

  2. A great scam that I will never get to cash out on despite having paid so much into... oh well.

    Billy Mays will never get his social security checks either.

  3. You had me at "Billy Mays."

    But seriously, I never knew how those increases worked in SS. Great post!

  4. interesting post. thanks for that.

  5. If you ask me we need to lower the age of social security. That's the only way to really grow small business and increase revenue. Just look at how it worked for Colonel Sanders!

  6. This is why the system is unsustainable. I'm liberal as anyone but I know somethng has to be done ;/

  7. good luck with paying that Mr. President!

  8. I'm all for cutting social programs that are a drain on government funds. Right after we streamline every wasteful government in every other area (farm subsidies, military waste spending) and close very tax loophole. Of course, if we did all that, we might have a surplus.

  9. in belgium its even worse; you get HUGER amount of money, house, food etc if you dont have a work (and you are foreign, most of the time an arab)

  10. HAHA I love the Billy Mays angle, good info.

  11. I think the government is taking the same drugs Billy Mays did.

  12. that theory sounds too good to be true or to be ignored!