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Social Insecurity: Part II

Social Insecurity: Part II

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Mike Thompson wrote a letter promoting the Social Security 2100 Act, a payroll tax increase. I replied explaining why Social Security is a poor way to fund one’s retirement.

Mike now claims I am promoting privatization. I have one question for him: If that is what I said, why didn’t I say it?

Highlighting the flaws of our system and the dishonesty with which it is promoted has nothing to do with government-regulated “privatization.” I promote individual responsibility. Everyone wanting to retire with dignity must work extra hard, overcoming excessive taxation, to save for themselves and not depend on government largess. Positive aspects exist in offering individuals the right to direct their own funds paid into the system, but this was not the subject of my letter.

Rather than addressing my concerns, Mr. Thompson changes the subject to avoid embarrassment. Such avoidance behavior is as prevalent in Democratic politics as the Delta variant.

Mr. Thompson doesn’t address the fact that payroll taxes paid into the system don’t go into an actual Social Security trust fund; they go into the general fund where they are immediately spent on other stuff. He doesn’t disclose that the new taxes will be paid for by Millennials and Gen-Zers to subsidize millions of Baby Boomers and others who were led astray by the Social Security pitch and are now in need of welfare checks.

If Mike were truly interested in “protecting" our “trust fund,” perhaps he shouldn’t go along with every massive spending bill Nancy Pelosi puts in front of him. Putting this in perspective, note that while approved future spending for Social Security (the “Trust Fund”) is $2.91 trillion, Mike supports an unrelated $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill using even more money we don’t currently have.

The sad reality is that millions of Americans were misled by the promise of Social Security and now find themselves vulnerable in or approaching retirement because they have not saved enough to retire in dignity. Mr. Thompson now doubles down to repeat the same mistake, leading future generations into the same financial trap. His motivation may be well-meaning, but the unintended consequences are undeniable.

The current inadequate system has remained viable only due to our increasing population since World War II. This growth won’t continue. The proposed SS 2100 Act therefore merely kicks the can down the road for a few years, leaving an even bigger problem for society to address in the future. There are better ways to address the problem.

Mike of course doesn’t have to worry about any of this. He has an ample retirement paid for by we the taxpayers. Upon reflection, isn’t it funny how our government bureaucrats always vote themselves generous benefits while those of us in the private sector get left paying the check? Something to ponder, perhaps in a future letter.

Come to think of it, wasn’t Mike elected as a Blue Dog Democrat; socially liberal but dedicated to limited government and fiscal responsibility? What happened to that guy?

But wait, Mike says there was a “poll” saying that 74% of Social Security recipients don’t want their checks to stop coming. I’m shocked (laughing out loud). What really surprises me as that 26% would say that they do want their benefits cut. In either event, it has nothing to do with why Social Security is not performing as advertised. The fact that the citizenry has been effectively misled by our politicians merely proves my point.

The lesson to be learned is that perhaps we should all stop being mindless sheeple and start to question senseless policies being forced upon us by government bureaucrats.

In the case of Social Security, see it for what it is; a very expensive and wasteful welfare program, especially for average wage earners, and a very poor way to plan for one’s retirement.

We should all be encouraged to speak up when we see our government use deceptive methods to promote programs that expand government and our dependency on it. Our country grew to be the most successful on the planet not through government programs but from the practice of limited government and individual freedom. We are rapidly losing that advantage.

As a progeny of Eastern Europe, I am reminded of a quote attributed to the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn (author of "The Gulag Archipelago"), who observed politicians promoting strong, centralized government while his beloved country (Russia) descended into totalitarianism: “We know they are lying, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying”.

California is now voting to recall a governor for having exceeded authority and for not being truthful. Perhaps more politicians should be held to a similar standard.

David Forstadt

Napa

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