Sunday, August 16, 2009

The new new deal

Social security accounts for 20.8% of the federal government expenditure, with Medicare/Medicaid coming in at 20.1%. This means that between the two of these socialistic programs, they both consume nearly 41% of all government spending.

According to Wikipedia and other sources, Social Security alone is currently estimated to keep roughly 40% of all Americans age 65 or older out of poverty. So, what of the other 60%?

Enacted in 1935, provisions of the Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, as well as a lump-sum benefit at death. It is funded by a payroll tax on workers’ wages and payment by employers, and now provides assistance to aged individuals, unemployment insurance, aid to families with dependent children, maternal and child welfare, public health services, and the blind. Ever wonder what those “public health services” are... its not just for your retirement now, is it?

While noble causes, social security was touted as a way to encourage older workers to retire and thereby create opportunities for younger people to find jobs, which would lower unemployment rates. Since it now covers more than just YOUR retirement, and since the age of retirement slowly creeps up every time the Act is revisited and amended, this doesn’t exactly open the door to younger workers if you are still working until you are in your 70’s.

In 1965, Medicare was added into the mix, which allowed the government to withdraw funds from the independent “Trust Fund” and put it into the General Fund for additional congressional revenue. This means that your retirement money was now, no longer in a safe trust fund, but could be used by the government any way they wanted (like buying 8 private jets for their use).

Back when it was first formed, the mandatory age of retirement, where individuals could draw on their social security benefits was 62.

In 1972, an amendment was enacted whereby the establishment of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was formed, which meant that immigrants who had never paid into the system became eligible for SSI benefits when they reached age 65. Say what? People who have never put money into the pool are getting benefits off of money you did put in the pool? Yep.

In 1977, President Carter amended the act to increase withholding from 2% to 6.15% to ensure its solvency until the year 2030... except it was in trouble again by 1980.

In 1983 it was amended under Reagan to tax Social Security benefits of higher-income individuals thus levying a tax on the “rich” to pay for the program when others were not taxed, which is unconstitutional. The age of retirement was also increased.

The Supreme Court ruled in Flemming v. Nestor in 1960 that “entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right”. In other words, the decision means that Congress can cut or eliminate benefits at any time. This is handy in that it is projected that by 2017 there will not be enough funds to cover everyone. Its also of note that the “trust fund” is actually Treasury bonds. The money in the trust fund has been “loaned back” to the Federal Government to pay for other expenses, so is your money still there or does it consist of an IOU? That seems oddly familiar, wasn’t there a case recently where a person got a life sentence for taking peoples’ money and using it for his own benefit and bilking those investors?

The reason I’ve bored all of you with these pesky facts is that the Liberals are justifying the unconstitutional takeover of health care by the fact that both Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are already established. They threaten people with the “if you don’t want Government in health care then we should disband both of those programs”. To that I say YES.

Retirement is a personal responsibility. When I grew up, my parents practiced and taught me that I needed to take at least 10% of my pay and put it into a savings account to save up for retirement. Also back then, most companies had a pension plan that you paid into and upon retirement you received your pension. This has been replaced with 401K programs, and with banks with similar IRA accounts for people to invest their money in for retirement. If Social Security is such a good program, why am I encouraged to also invest in other means of retirement money? Could it be that my monthly stipend is so small that there’s no way I could possibly live on those benefits?

The fact that the government, from the inception of Social Security, has mismanaged the funds, used them for other spending, has raised the withholding, and are now in panic mode because the amount of baby boomers that are retiring will drain whatever money is leftover from the Act, leaving young people with nothing for their future retirement (except what they themselves had saved) and seniors with a shaky retirement ground. Further, in light of the recent Government bailouts of banks, insurance companies, and car companies, those who didn’t put all of their eggs in one basket and invested in other ways to ensure their retirement were screwed royally when bankruptcy filings by GM were skewed so that unions and the Government were given better rate of return than those investors who had a real stake in the game, left those with personal injury claims in the dust, and GM got to dump its toxic properties and not clean them up.

I say disband Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare immediately. Return all monies invested by individuals to those individuals with a reasonable rate of return based on common interest rates they would have received had they been able to invest that money themselves or in a savings account. Allow the PEOPLE to determine their best interests and prepare for their retirements as they see fit, and to retire whenever they have the means and ability, not at 67 years of age in order to receive their full benefits doled out in monthly stipends.

This concept of “well, we did it before so you can’t argue now” is over. Sure it may be tough for some, and there are those who would suffer having depended upon the government to provide them with what they need. That’s their mistake, not the rest of the population. It may seem cold, cruel, and hard, but even during the depression, when people were going hungry and jobs were scarce, the people reached out, without any community organization paid government money through grants, to help those that DESERVED help and were willing to work rather than receive a hand out. Hand outs in my grandparents’ time was a shameful thing... today its status quo and almost a badge of honor. “Look what I can get for nothing, why should I work”.

The government is suppose to be there to govern by the constitution. We’ve allowed it to slowly creep into our lives using the “for the good of the people” motto. What the people actually need is a swift kick in the reality that government does not help, nor was it formed to help, its people that help those who need help, and government needs to stay out of it.


Anonymous said...

Amen, sister!

Not only is it unconstitutional, it's wholly unsustainable under any model.

I would settle for being allowed to opt out NOW - and foregoing all the money I've paid in, as ostensibly, I'm in my peak earning years.

We just had a couple of people here who were essentially FORCED to retire, because they were at mandatory social security ages (67/70?) and so the "income" from SS was added to their wages, generating additional tax greater than the SS income. Thus they were now working for less money.

The government needs to be a dispassionate observer. It can feel for you, but only step in if someone else stole/injured you. The rest is for charities. Unfortunately, too many of the masses have been brainwashed by the politicians to believe that if government doesn't do it, no one well. What a crock!

The Girlz said...

This information only continues to support my desire to see a REDUCTION of government prying in the lives of private citizens.

I am attending the kick off to the Tea Party across the USA in Sacramento. It ends on 9/12 in your area. I hope you can attend the Tea Party in your area and encourage others as well.

The fat cats in the government who claim that the "disruptions" in the town hall meetings are "Un-American" and don't represent a majority etc had better wake up and realize that the power of the voter will tell the tale.

Thanks for your great post!