I am 54 years old, and in 15 to 20 years I will be retiring. Like many Americans, I plan on using my Social Security as part of my retirement. But after what happened Monday, I'm beginning to wonder if Social Security will be around in 20 years. I have read the stories warning that the Social Security system is running out of money and unless our government does something, the promise made to many Americans by our government will be broken. Won't be the first time! However I remained hopeful that something positive would be done to rebuild the fund. Monday I discovered just how desperate our government is for money and to the depths they will stoop to get it!

Monday afternoon I went to my mailbox to find a letter from the United States Treasury.  The letter stated that $87.70 would be taken from our tax return because of a past debt. I must admit I was clueless as to why I owed the United States Social Security Administration any money. To my knowledge I had never taken a dime from Social Security. In fact, in my mind I had contributed to Social Security for more than 40 years!

Right away I knew this had to be a mistake. I could just call the number on the letter and in a matter of minutes I would have the problem solved, and the $87.70 would be put back on our tax return. Or so I thought.

After waiting for 40 minutes to talk to a representative I finally got a live person on the phone.

I explained that I have never received any benefits from Social Security and that this must be some kind of a mistake. To my shock, the rather unfriendly woman on the other end said that I had received benefits in 1977 when my dad was on disability. I told the woman that I knew nothing about this.  They said the payments were actually made to my father since I was a minor.

I was stunned and asked the woman sarcastically, "You mean to tell me you are going to make me pay for a mistake you made in 1977 when I was 17 years old and also my dad has been dead for 22 years, so I had no way of asking him if the debt was legit or not. I am going to have to pay this? This is criminal!  I have no recourse. I have no way to prove if they were right or wrong."

In her smarmy way she explained that it’s the law — two years ago our wonderful United States Congress repealed the 10-year statue of limitations and passed legislation allowing Social Security free rein to go back decades to retrieve money. I have no recourse to dispute the claim since my father passed in 1992.

The sad part of this story is that my dad worked his whole life and never took anything from the government. He served in World War II and in Korea, but in 1977 he suffered a serious back injury and was forced to go on disability for a short time. I had to just take the word of the Social Security Administration. The money had already been taken out of my tax return.

The problem with this story is not the money because it was just a small amount. The problem is the absolute power Congress has given this and other federal agencies to do what they want without any protection for the people. What would've happened if it were a large amount of money? I guess I could have hired a lawyer and even if I won, I would still lose because then I would have a large lawyer bill!

This proves to me that Social Security and other federal agencies are desperate for money because of the incompetence of our leaders, both past and present!