Social Security was supposed to be the safety net that allowed people to have a little money coming in when they retired. This is a program that was designed to assist those incapable of saving for their own futures and it has morphed into an albatross that includes all kinds of things like disability payments to people who are allegedly unable to work.
The money that is taken in each month is sent to the Treasury and the Treasury issues a worthless piece of paper indicating that the money is there if it should be needed. All Social Security has to do is ask and they can get the money they need to make payments. Nice idea except the money confiscated goes into the general fund and politicians spend it on everything under the sun. When Social Security asks for the money to make payments our country has to borrow it from another country (usually one that is not a friend) and then pay interest on the money borrowed. The process costs us a hell of a lot more than it should. If they had left the money alone there would be no problem.
This leads us to the current debt ceiling “crisis” and the statement by Barack Obama that he could not guarantee that Social Security checks will go out on August 3rd if the debt ceiling is not raised. This is a blatant lie because Social Security is required to be paid and that means other programs will be cut so that Social Security recipients get their money. Besides, there is still plenty of money coming in to service the debt and pay Social Security. Other programs will have to be cut. Look at it this way, either the Congress makes serious cuts now or they will happen automatically in August.
The whole issue shows why privatizing Social Security is an important and necessary measure. People work to put their money into the system and then government takes that money and spends it on things for which it was never intended. When trouble hits, Obama (using scare tactics) says he can’t guarantee people will get the money they paid in. In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled that people have no right to receive Social Security and government can end it at any time (they would have to change the law).
The federal government had its chance and it terribly mismanaged the funds. If any private business took money for one thing and spent it on another and then could not meet the original obligation the people in charge would end up in jail. Ironically, the people in Congress who gave us the Social Security mess would be leading that charge.
It is time to privatize Social Security and allow people to put money in accounts that they own and that they have control over. It is time they owned it all and were able to pass it on to their heirs. This would have an added benefit of allowing people to retire when they felt they could rather than having to hit a government mandated age before they could draw the money. People would be better off and they would not be dependent on government (which is why politicians don’t want you in control).
I know the tired arguments about market crashes and all that. There are funds that start out with risk and get less risky as the worker gets older. There is a certain amount of risk in anything but it is unlikely that people will go completely bankrupt. The simple truth is they can be no worse off than they are right now with all the money they “contributed” squandered on wasteful government programs and Obama telling them they might not get a check in August (and for who knows how long). If they controlled their own money this would not be an issue because they would be in control of their own assets.
The government in general has mismanaged the program by wasting the money. They now have to borrow to make payroll, so to speak. Obama as much as admitted that the program would be better off if we privatized it when he admitted he can’t guarantee that people will get their checks.
It is time to move Social Security away from government control and put it back in the hands of the people who actually earn the money. It will take a while and we still have obligations to those currently drawing Social Security. We could afford to do that if we open a lot of off shore oil leases and allow American businesses to drill for oil. We will create jobs, will produce our own oil and gas and a portion of the revenue can be earmarked specifically for Social Security to pay those currently in the system (with no possibility of the money being used for anything else).
Let the younger generation start setting aside money for their own retirement and let them have a prosperous old age free of dependence on government.
You know they can’t sustain it. You know they can’t run it effectively. You know they can’t keep their hands out of the till. You know that they cannot guarantee you will receive your money. And they know it too.
So let us do the right thing, the smart thing, and push for privatizing Social Security.
We certainly cannot possibly do any worse than the government has.
And in all likeliness we will do much better.
Never surrender, never submit.