As I read David Smith North's complaint, I could relate ("Change perspective on 'government handout' issues," Readers' Forum, June 19). I am a geezer, someone who could tap into Social Security if I wished to. North wants the federal government to return our money. He objects to Walter Williams saying that the government can only pay a dollar to us by taking it from someone else.

It would be great if we could get back all those taxes. Unfortunately, North is completely wrong and Williams is right. The taxes that we paid are all gone, spent on federal gee-gaws and doo-dads. The government didn't "save" any of it, but rather turned it into IOUs. There never was a "lock box." So the government simply cannot return our taxes.

Imagine if the honorable North's spouse worked and saved money, but he secretly spent it on silly things. Surely she should be outraged at the account being empty. But her outrage changes nothing. So it is with our taxes. Government collects taxes, and our elected representatives quickly spend them on earmarks so as to earn our gratitude and so we elect them again and again and again.

To all my brother and sister geezers out there, I say we have to face the facts. The money is spent, and Social Security was a Ponzi scheme. If we count on Social Security for retirement, perhaps we have to rethink our position. Personally, I plan to continue to work and avoid taking Social Security. It is what I owe to my children and grandchildren.

Lynn Johnson