Three hopefully simple questions about social security and medicare payments that are being deducted from my paycheck - I haven't been able to find much information about this online.
Are these payments that I make "reserved" for me when I retire? Or do they go into a giant social security bucket for everybody, out of which I am allotted a fixed retirement funds when I retire (irrespective of how much I put in).
I make several donations to non-profits, and am able to claim a deduction on my federal and state taxes for this. But it looks like I can't claim deductions against social security and medicare?
Why a separate payment bucket for social security and medicare? Why not just put it into the same federal tax we pay, thus simplifying the system? (I understand this is a more open question, but am just curious why it is structured this way.)