Monday, June 1, 2009

If you are so against Social Security, how do you propose we live in our old age?

I received an email from a so-called "Conservative" and "Pro 2nd Amendment" person today. I'll hit the highlights here:

Having searched, this person went on to say they had lost their retirement in the recent market crash, and that at 60, they needed Social Security to live on. They then asked me what my agenda was.

The post they are referencing is here. As to my "agenda", it is simply this: We can not pay for this stuff. We just simply can not mathematically pay for it.

Social Security was never meant to be your sole retirement income. It was meant to provide a partial pension to make things easier. Workers were expected to provide personal savings, income from children, and corporate pensions to supplement Social Security to allow themselves to stay under a roof and fed.

Over time, corporate pensions have gone away, and in this day and age of consumerism, easy credit, etc, one can not necessarily rely on their children any more either. Observe further that we've gone from a decent house being a postage stamp (by today's square footage estimates) to a 3000sqft luxury retirement home in AZ.

Finally, since we now don't really have a Social Security surplus, the plethora of retiring boomers is creating a situation where Social Security has turned into a ponzi scheme. The money I'm paying into it is going straight into another investor's pocket to keep the checks flowing. And since we're facing a declining population of people paying into the system, we're headed for a giant shipwreck.

The coffers got this way by Congress deciding that Social Security funds were fair game for them to spend (sound familiar???) So now, the funds that this person paid into the fund for their own retirement are long gone - again, it's my money that is going to allow them to retire.

So here is the question. Should I keep paying my money into a system that I know will very likely be completely bereft and bankrupt by the time it's "my turn" to collect? Should I starve down the line because somehow I bear responsibility for Government mismanagement, when all this time it has been people older than myself putting up with the looting and repeatedly voting for more looters? By 2050, the annual Social Security deficit, in 2001 inflation adjusted dollars, will reach $419bil - almost half of the entire Income Tax revenues collected for a year.

The answer? I don't think that people who are about to retire should be cut off and starved, but I also don't think my income taxes need to be raised by 81% (to almost 44% of my income), crippling my ability to live and prosper, let alone save money so that I don't starve when I'm 65 and there is little in the way of social programs left to serve me just so that a bunch of people who didn't save enough to retire can do so.

Furthering my issues with Social Security is the awful return I will get from the monies stolen from me (assuming that number isn't flat out $0). As a single male born around 1977, I'll earn less than .5% on the money I put in to the system when I it is finally returned to me at 65. I could do far better than that on safe Government Bonds alone. Again, I am punished for others' irresponsibility.

Why do I say my money is "stolen"? The Supreme Court ruled in 1960 (Flemming v. Nestor) that I have no ownership or right to the monies taken from me for Social Security benefits. This essentially means that the Government could capriciously tell me next week that I will never see that money again, and I have no recourse (short of going to the rifle).

So what you're basically saying by insisting that I give you my money so you can retire, and insisting that I pay nearly double my taxes so that you retire, with the full knowledge that the system very likely can't survive even long enough for me to get my money back out of it, is that you don't give a good *** damn about my ability to stay solvent, to save for my own future, or to live my life as I please. You'd rather raise my taxes, empty my bank accounts, foreclose on my home, remove the food from my mouth, and trample my Liberty so that you can retire in comfort.

Pardon me if I don't agree with that.

I would encourage you, dear friends, to read about Social Security over at the Heritage Foundation. If you are truly Conservative and Pro-Constitution, I want you to understand what it is you are really demanding when you command us to save Social Security at all costs.

My agenda? My agenda is to attempt to ensure that everyone has the best chance, under the restrictions set forth in the Constitution, to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in this country - and raising taxes to support failed Socialist programs is not the way to do that.


tom said...

With our current birth rate, it's impossible to expect the children to do much for the parents.

Start with a set of grandparents (4 people).

They have 2 children.

The two children marry and have one child, if any. (The current state of all non-Hispanic reproduction and the general trend for all Americans and Western Europeans and it gets worse every year)

Doesn't even remotely work as even a Ponzi scheme, mathematically.

It's in permanent downward spiral because of demographic changes, as is the nation, and that's FACT. Can't get blood from a stone.

triptyx said...

That's an excellent point Tom, and something also mentioned in the linked Heritage Foundation document at the bottom of the article.

It is far past time that we begin to make a dispassionate analysis of these programs, and establish final ways to ensure people don't starve or freeze to death, but also ensure that they are not used/abused by people that shouldn't have needed it in the first place.

Current Quote

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." – Thomas Jefferson