What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
I just received my “Social Security Statement” in the mail. This is the first one of these that I’ve seen. I almost ripped it to shreds and threw it away. That’s how much I am opposed to this ridiculous program.
I forced myself to read the statement in its entirety while suppressing the urge to kick something annoying, like a cat. Here are some select excerpts from the statement:
Social Security is the largest source of income for most elderly Americans today. It is very important to remember that Social Security was never intended to be your only source of income when you retire.
Uhh.. isn’t this paradoxical? First they tell us that it’s the largest source of income (and probably it is usually the only one) for elderly people, and then they offer a reminder that S.S. was never intended to be your only source of income. Hmm..
For more than 60 years, America has kept the promise of security for its workers and their families. But now, the Social Security system is facing serious future financial problems, and action is needed soon to make sure that the system is sound when today’s younger workers are ready for retirement.
I have a suggestion for some “action”. Kill the program. Let it wither away into oblivion. It is socialism, and encourages laziness, frivolous spending (as opposed to frugality and actually saving your money), and is a major factor in this country’s lean towards becoming a welfare state. I’m glad they are facing “serious future financial problems”. Perhaps that is a sign that the program should have never been created in the first place. It is not the government’s responsibility to provide for its citizens’ every need. The government is charged with securing this nation, and allowing those who live within its borders the chance to work hard, prosper, and live comfortably, when possible. Uncle Sam should have no power to take my money and give it to somebody else who “needs” it. It is their own fault (usually) that they did not save, or purchase insurance, or control their spending habits.
President Benson explained this masterfully in his lecture “The Proper Role of Government”. Said he:
This means, then, that the proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man possesses such power to delegate. The creature cannot exceed the creator.
Uncle Sam has no right taking my money and giving it to somebody else. Yes, they can take it through taxes to serve their own purposes (oh boy, that’s another post for another day…), but they have absolutely no right to take it and give it to some retired person who cannot support him/herself.
I love the church’s stance in this regard. First, you take care of yourself. If you cannot, then it becomes the responsibility of your family. If that is not possible, only then will the church help out. The government would be wise to mimic this principle of self-reliance, and reliance upon family and friends, before robbing from my pocket. Moving on:
Note: You currently pay 6.2 percent of your salary, up to $94,200, in Social Security taxes and 1.45 percent in Medicare taxes on your entire salary.
This is absurd. Income tax (illegal; yet another post for another day), social security, medicare.. Imagine how many vacations I could go on if the government would stop stealing my money! Thankfully, I’ve been a student until this past April, and full-time students do not have to pay social security or medicare. However, I am no longer a student, and so I am bracing myself to find out how much I’ll have paid to this fund by the end of the fiscal year. It won’t be pretty.
Today there are almost 36 million Americans age 65 or older. Their Social Security retirement benefits are funded by today’s workers and their employers who jointly pay Social Security taxes — just as the money they paid into Social Security was used to pay benefits to those who retired before them. Unless action is taken soon to strengthen Social Security, in just 11 years we will begain paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2040 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted. By then, the number of Americans 65 or older is expected to have doubled. There won’t be enough younger people working to pay all of the benefits owed to those who are retiring. At that point, there will be enough money to pay only about 74 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits. We will need to resolve these issues soon to make sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations as it has done in the past.
Man, I don’t even know where to begin with this last one. This program needs to be sent to the chopping block.
[UPDATE: From the WSJ: Many Americans Expect to Rely Most On Savings in Retirement, Poll Shows (thanks James)]