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  Social Security, Part 4 -- New Directions  



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New Directions for Social Security
The Social Security Trust Fund Fraud 
A Study in Partisan Lies and an Indicator of Cultural Decay:
By Thomas Lee Abshier, ND

Summary Assessment:


The Democrats vociferously mischaracterize the "Trust Fund" and oppose an ethical investment of the excess FICA taxes to create a true pension system.  A short study of the facts reveals the fraudulent redirection of funds.  Ignorance cannot explain the Democrat's continued bold deception.  The unifying explanation behind this brazen lie and their support for other big government social programs appears to be the creation of a loyal majority who will vote largesse from the public Treasury.  This strategy will eventually enslave us all in the shackles of a second-rate socialist debtor economy.


This governmental-perpetrated Social Security double-taxation fraud has received little honest public exposure and debate.  The taxpayer was not informed in unequivocal terms that his FICA taxes are knowingly spent today for government programs instead of being invested in true interest bearing securities, and as a result that his children will bear the tax burden for ALL his retirement benefits.  The public could make a decision to support such a program, and in the face of fully informed consent the contract would be fair and binding.  But the public has received no such disclosure and made no such agreement.  The public expected investment of their Social Security taxes, but instead we see a government endorsed heist that makes the white collar crime at Enron and WorldCom look like petty theft.  The governmental redirection of FICA taxes is GROSS malfeasance. 


Men who can so boldly deceive do not have the character to judge and rule righteously on public policy.  All who have supported this program deserve redress and/or recall.  Our society is on the path to decay and collapse.  We  can tangibly see the rot infecting our system in the character and actions of the men who lead us.  The public does not perceive the generalized deficiency in its leaders because in a democracy the leaders reflect the public.  Thus, the lack of public discrimination allows the perpetuation of this fraud without interruption. 


The fallout from placing a huge tax load on the younger generation to support the retirees could precipitate a significant shift in our moral valuation of life.  When only 2.2 workers or less supports the retirement income of every older person, the taxes may go so high that the majority will seek relief by endorsing euthanasia for those who become a burden.  We could see the "lifeboat exercise" played out in real life as we throw the old and weak over the side so that the rest can continue to live in plenty.  In those days, moral relativism will show its mature fruit and sin will extract its full price.


The Democrat's strategy may return them to power because democracy ultimately rules this nation; the more people dependent upon government subsidies, the more voters are biased toward the party that has transferred them wealth. 


The poor and dependent always long for a socialist worker’s state because of the promise of equality and greater wealth.  The disingenuous stand taken by the Democratic Party on the issue of Social Security has clearly shown that they embrace the socialist ethic.  They are waging a quiet, voter driven revolution to throw off the chains of the “oppressive capitalist elite class to produce a worker’s paradise.”  These same seductive promises placed Russia under the iron chains of socialism for decades, and the same mediocre to oppressive quality of life will result from the kinder gentler Democratic-socialist revolution currently underway in America.


The current Social Security system must change.  But, for Social Security to function optimally, the American character must change.  We have become a nation where we believe that our productive life ends at age 62.  We have accepted the lie of obsolescence and leisure for those who have reached seniority.  Granted, some cannot work because of infirmity and feebleness of body and/or mind.  But in general, work gives the man worth.  Rest is an acceptable option for those who have produced and wish to draw down their resources.  But, an entire leisure class of elderly, non-contributing, legislated retirees makes little sense.  God did not place us here to simply idle away our time, especially in the stage of life where our skill in our chosen profession has peaked.


In general, a man whose average life is now between 75 and 85 years (if he has taken care of himself) is still productive for 10 to 20 years after the current retirement age of 62-65.  But, expanding the class of elder citizens as dependents of the State adds to the rolls of those who are biased to vote their pocketbook and elect representatives who initiated, expanded, or protected their benefits. 


To solve America’s Social Security crisis we need a new retirement and life-work paradigm.  Every American should work as long as he wants, or as long as he can still perform valuable service.  The elder generation possesses much wisdom acquired over a lifetime of service in their field.  Of course, as health or mental faculties fail, a person should expect his salary/wages would decline to reflect his lower productivity.  Continuing to participate in serving gives a sense of worth.  Leisure has its place, but in opposition to work it is far sweeter.  If a man chooses leisure after having saved his entire life that should be his choice, he has every right to draw down the account he has built up over a lifetime of work and saving.  Still, as a society we must be wary of casting off the elderly and forcing them into a life of idleness. 


We now have a generation of retirees who have contributed to the Social Security system their entire working lives.  They have the expectation of being rewarded for their faith and cooperation with the forced extraction of FICA taxes from their paychecks.  As a nation we should honor that contract, but because of the foolishness, shortsightedness, or greed of those who established the system, the burden will be heavier than we expected. 


At this point, to fund any government-based retirement system will require deficit spending, spending cuts, or tax hikes to fund the current level of benefits.  And, if we do not initiate changes in the system soon, we could generate economic, political, social pressures that may precipitate deep changes in the very character of our system.


But, we can start making changes that will lessen the pain of the transition.  Actually investing the excess collected FICA income is the most obvious change in the current system.  The disadvantage will of course be an immediate increase in the national debt.  As a nation the most important thing we can do is engage in only expenditures that increase the national productivity.


Privatizing the investment system moves us toward a freer nation because we have taken responsibility for the choices that insure our own financial welfare.  Likewise, the public can begin the process of relieving itself of the burden of paying for another person’s retirement leisure.  And it removes the authority another man may feel to intervene in my life by virtue of having contributed to my survival in my later years.  Each man should bear the burden of the decisions he makes regarding his length of employment, and the wisdom of the amount and vehicle of his savings investment.


We are a Christian nation, a compassionate people, and we want to help the poor and unfortunate among us.  The care of orphans, widows, elderly, and infirm was once the province of private charity and the church.  But, the New Deal replaced the individual with the government as the caretaker of needy citizens.  As a result, over time the entitlement class has grown, and the resultant tax burden imposed by government has proven too large for the ordinary individual to give significant monetary support to both charity and the taxes required to support government welfare programs. 


The system of entitlements has created a dependent class, and suddenly withdrawing support from that group would prove disastrous.  Thus, to relieve the government of the burden of the dependent classes, we should begin the process of true character and skill development.  The pain and discipline necessary for those dependent citizens to become productive and participate may be significant, and their ultimate contribution may be small.  But, the struggle is still valuable because of the character it develops.


Every person has something he can contribute, which is in turn worthy of compensation.  And being realistic there are those whose contribution could never equal their consumption.  In the past, the truly dependent and helpless were cared for by private charity, but the era of big government has removed our rugged individualism, and our community spirit of interdependence.  The return to an era where we regain our sense of personal responsibility will be necessarily gradual, but the transition is necessary.  We were all created to participate all the way through life, at the maximum of our abilities. 


By changing the cultural paradigm on retirement age, we can maintain our wisdom and pass it on to the next generation; while at the same time reducing the burden on working America.  Men and women were made to work, serve, and contribute throughout life.  Everyone who has saved more than they have spent deserves to be served; that excess will produce an increase in interest, and after many years of consistent saving, a person could live on that storehouse of delayed consumption. 


One option for an extremely secure retirement income would be a government administered investment and disbursement system with a guaranteed rate of return for the retirees.  But, for such a system to work, the pool of participants in the system would have an obligation to support the retirees with extra tax assessments if the return on investment did not produce the required profits to meet the obligations.  Thus, in return for the guaranteed security of a guaranteed pension return, the individual would be at risk of higher taxes while contributing to the system.


Another option is entrusting a government agency with the responsibility to create a true pension/annuity system with real assets, but, without the guarantee of the taxpayer insured annuity.  Since there is no contract with the taxpayers, there is little advantage to administering this program through the government.  Private enterprise already offers investment services that comply with government standards for ethical investment.


The New Deal changed us from a society of rugged individualists to a dependent nanny state.  We should all take responsibility for our own welfare instead of being shackled and dependent upon the government for our welfare.  As a society we must come to a proper realization and perspective about money; it is simply a measure of how much we have served other people.  If we spend all the money we earn, then we have no credit from which to draw, and we have no right to expect that anyone will save us from our own foolishness or laziness.  We have tried to create a nation where no bad consequences befall us regardless of our actions in life, but this worldview is unrealistic. 


The solutions confronted above are the typical, “divide the pie” problems.  But, by confronting this problem from the supply side, we could solve every economic problem if the nation and world were to generate sufficient production.  With a sufficiently prosperous economy, the individual could painlessly support the tax burdens necessary to fund all the popular wealth transfer projects as Social Security, Medicare, Drug coverage, Public Education, Public Transportation, Worker’s Compensation, and the proposed Universal Health Care, etc.  The transition to a world where scarcity and poverty virtually disappears will happen when every nation world becomes productive.  The key to universal prosperity lies in bringing up the 3rd world economies. 


The current NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA treaties and outsourcing are already doing much to export American wealth to the 3rd world.  But, this method of solving the world’s economic problems will produce a stagnant, debt laden American economy.  When the engine of American productivity and consumption dies the world’s momentum toward building the 3rd world economies will falter.  The key to building an ecologically sound and prosperous future depends on an adequate energy supply, and a moral-legal system that protects property rights.  Please refer to my essay on Nation Building for some concepts as to how we can improve our own economy, while helping develop the nations of the world.


In summary, the current FICA system will never go bankrupt as long as people are willing to pay taxes high enough to support the legislated obligation of the government to the retirees.  But, when the taxpayers refuse to shoulder the burden of Social Security taxes, the problem will be solved by cutting benefits, raisin the retirement age, or disposing of the citizen-retirees who create that Social Security tax burden.



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