When I looked at our bank account last night for the umpteenth time before going to bed, I was ecstatic to see the Covid-19 recovery money had been deposited by the guvmint. Ecstatic for us – and for the guvmint as well. I told Pretty yesterday if we didn’t get the money by today, someone was going to hear from me. (As if the guvmint would be very afraid of a call from me.) Since her nonessential antique empire is shut down without any protest from us, we really are very thankful to have unexpected deposits. I remembered a post about other guvmint checks I published here in January, 2015.
One of the most popular country singers and songwriters, Merle Haggard, wrote one of my favorite songs, Big City, with lyrics that are much more meaningful to me in 2015 than they were in 1981 when I first heard it. “Gimme all I’ve got coming to me…and keep your retirement and your so-called Social Security. Big City, turn me loose and set me free.”
Yep, in 1981 I was thirty-five years old and the owner of a very small CPA firm that had a growing clientele with low overhead. How small was very small? That would be one person: me. I had been working full-time since 1967, was in robust health – full of piss and vinegar – with visions of acquiring great wealth through hard work and perseverance in America, the land of equal opportunity. Retirement? Social Security? Bah, humbug. Irrelevant and unimportant, but I paid my Social Security taxes along with everyone else.
Fast forward to 2008, the year I turned sixty-two years old. My robust health became more of a pisser than vinegar, which forced me to retire much earlier than I had planned, long before acquiring great wealth. I had worked for forty-one years in a variety of jobs with numbers as their primary common denominator; I had made both good and bad career moves in those years but was moderately successful in the good years while being financially challenged in the lean ones.
Regardless of the triumphs and tragedies in my working life, I continued to pay my income taxes plus Social Security taxes every year along with everyone else in America. When I became disabled at age sixty-two, I began to receive my retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration. Because my prospects for acquiring great wealth looked slimmer than my prospects for acquiring great weight, I’m afraid I couldn’t sing along with Merle who apparently didn’t want his Social Security.
I’m happy to have mine – happy to be on the receiving end of what I paid into for more than forty years. Thanks Merle, but gimme all I got coming to me including my so-called Social Security, and then Big City, turn me loose and set me free.
Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned. Seriously, my friends. Please do.