Social Security

The best Ron Paul analysis you will ever read this campaign season…

December 31st, 2011 2:55 pm  |  by  |  Published in Civil Liberties, Commentary, Drugs, Election, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, Liberty, Politics, Ron Paul, Social Security, torture, War  |  33 Responses

…comes from Glenn Greenwald. I’ve always admired Greenwald; however, I found myself cheering in agreement as I read his latest article, “Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies”. He suggests that voters will have to decide for themselves on the lesser of evils (as usual). In doing so Greenwald pushes to the surface the numerous actions Obama has taken that goes directly against what self-righteous progressives are all about. It’s long, but read it. It is truth. Yes, even the part about the newsletters. Here is an excerpt:

The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “Ron Paul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians — Muslim children by the dozens — not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations withdronescluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents — in secret and with no checks — to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has wagedan unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.

He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.

Read it all at Salon.com.

Herman Cain’s Hidden Extra Nine

October 18th, 2011 11:15 pm  |  by  |  Published in Economics, Election, Liberty, Peter Schiff, Polling, Social Security, Taxes  |  Comments Off

by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, and host of The Peter Schiff Show, broadcasting live from WSTC Norwalk CT from 10am to noon Eastern time every weekday, and streaming at www.schiffradio.com

Herman Cain has been gaining much traction with his 9-9-9 Plan, a bold proposal to replace our dysfunctional tax code with what could be a simpler, less invasive, and more economically stimulative alternative. While I don’t agree with the full spectrum of Mr. Cain’s policy choices, I applaud his courage on the tax front. Judging by his rising poll numbers, this appreciation is widely shared. However, the plan has deep flaws, the most glaring of which is its creation of a hidden payroll tax which represents a fourth “nine.” This serious pitfall has been unmentioned by Mr. Cain and overlooked by those who have analyzed his plan.

Cain would replace the current system of income and payroll taxes with a 9% flat-rate personal income tax, a 9% corporate tax, and a 9% national sales tax. Great idea. Such a system would unburden businesses, provide a tax cut for most Americans, and shift taxation to consumption and away from income generation. This is exactly what our economy needs. But unlike our current corporate tax system, the plan eliminates the deductibility of wages and salaries from corporate income. The net effect is the creation of a brand new 9% tax on wages. When this fourth 9 falls from Cain’s sleeve, many of his opponents will likely accuse him of cheating.

Read More »

The Extinction of Retirement

June 16th, 2011 10:31 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Economics, government spending, Social Security  |  Comments Off

by Michael Pento, Senior Economist at Euro Pacific Capital (www.europac.net)

For the better part of a century the foundations for a semi-comfortable retirement for many Americans have rested on the financial pillars of rising real estate and equity prices, positive real interest rates on savings, the continued solvency of public and private pension plans, and the reliability of national entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicaid). But in the last few years, the economic sands have fundamentally shifted and these pillars are no longer sturdy, some have cracked completely. For many Americans, the traditional idea of a comfortable retirement, filled with golf carts, cruises, and fishing trips, is going the way of the dodo bird.

Read More »

Correcting Fantasies About Social Security

March 24th, 2011 10:04 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, DownsizeDC.org, Social Security  |  10 Responses

Quote of the Day: “. . . entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right” — The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in Flemming v. Nestor (1960).

The feedback we received about our Social Security campaign makes it obvious that many people have been seriously misled by political saviors. What follows is for those who prefer fact to fantasy . . .

The story of one person can tell the whole story of Social Security.

Ida Fuller, a law secretary from Vermont, was the first person to receive monthly Social Security checks.

* Her first check came on February 1, 1940.
* By the time she received this check she had paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System.
* Her first check was for $22.54.
* By the time Fuller received her second check she had already received more than she had contributed to Social Security.
* She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92.

It should be perfectly clear to anyone who can handle basic math, that Ms. Fuller’s benefits did NOT come from amounts she had contributed into a trust fund. Instead . . .

Ms. Fuller’s benefits came from the Social Security taxes paid by her children and grand-children over the remaining 35 years of her life. In other words, the taxes WE pay go to fund the benefits of previous generations, NOT our own benefits.

The way Social Security functioned for Ida Fuller is how it still operates today.

Read More »

Ron Paul on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” talking CPAC, government spending

February 14th, 2011 10:51 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Constitution, Economics, Election, Foreign Policy, government spending, Ron Paul, Social Security, War  |  Comments Off

Here is an excellent appearance by Ron Paul on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”. Fiscal responsibility, foreign policy of Obama, and more is discussed. Ron Paul at one point bluntly calls Barack Obama a warmonger.

Congress Attempts to Bribe Seniors

November 16th, 2010 12:28 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, congress, Debt, government spending, Money, national debt, Social Security  |  1

Quote of the Day: “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.” Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen (1896-1969)

Is Congress attempting to bribe seniors with your children’s money? The House of Representatives is considering the “Seniors Protection Act,” which gives recipients of Social Security, and other government retirement or disability programs, a $250 bonus check.

It’s one thing to call for cuts in current benefits, and another thing to suddenly ADD more spending to the ballooning national debt. Seniors, in particular, are wise enough to know the difference. And yet . . .

Apparently, a majority of legislators think that being “generous” with YOUR money – or more accurately, your children’s money — will be rewarded by senior citizens in the 2012 elections.

We suspect (and hope) that most seniors, who voted out incumbents in the recent elections, are insulted by this bribe.

Please send a letter urging Congress to defeat this bill using DownsizeDC.org’s Cut Spending campaign.

The hardwired portion of the letter begins, “Please cut federal spending.”

Here’s how I continued this letter to my representatives in Congress . . . Read More »

Libertarians issue warning to Tea Partiers

September 10th, 2010 11:16 am  |  by  |  Published in Activism, Bailouts, Banking, Big Government, congress, Economics, Election, government spending, Liberty, Politics, Social Security, Taxes  |  6 Responses

Libertarian Party press release:

WASHINGTON – Looking toward the 9/12 Tea Party events in Washington, DC, Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict issued the following warning to Tea Partiers: “Republicans are trying to fool you again.”

“There are two kinds of Tea Partiers,” said Benedict. “One kind is so blinded by its hatred of Obama and Democrats that it cannot see fault with Republicans. It’s the other kind the Libertarian Party is reaching out to.”

Libertarian Party staff and volunteers will participate in the Washington, DC Tea Party events on September 12. They will distribute flyers pointing out how the Top 10 Disasters of the 2009-2010 Obama administration mirror the Top 10 Disasters of the 2001-2008 Bush administration.

Benedict continued, “Libertarians have much in common with Tea Party goals of reducing government spending and taxes. While many Tea Party supporters will admit that George W. Bush’s administration grew government, Libertarians want to remind Tea Partiers about previous Republican administrations that loved big government.

“Republican Newt Gingrich and the Contract with America promised to eliminate the Departments of Education and Energy. Yet once Republicans took control of Congress, they failed even to reduce the spending on those departments.

Read More »

Happy Birthday Social Security?

August 20th, 2010 9:44 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Debt, Economics, government spending, Health Care, national debt, Obama, Social Security  |  Comments Off

by Neeraj Chaudhary, Investment Consultant in the Los Angeles branch of Euro Pacific Capital

In his weekly radio address this past Saturday, President Obama happily commemorated the 75th anniversary of Social Security. From my perspective, the milestone is nothing to celebrate. For although the president spoke earnestly about the “obligation to keep the promise” of Social Security, in reality, the program will wreck the government’s finances within 10 years.

The numbers are simply astounding. Social Security is the largest social program in the world, making up over 40% of all federal spending. Over 58 million Americans – 1 in 5 citizens – receive a monthly check from Social Security. Although these numbers are already daunting, demographic realities will soon cause the program to expand much more rapidly.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitlement programs and net interest costs may be expected to consume fully 93% of federal revenue by 2020. Think about that: in less than 10 years, the Social Security program (which includes Medicare and Medicaid) will have gotten so big that only 7 cents of every dollar of federal revenue may be left for everything else.

What exactly does “everything else” include? Try the entire military, FBI, freeways, disaster relief, NASA, housing agencies, and the postal service – to name a few. If new revenue is not found, and if current Social Security obligations are not changed, the remainder of federal programs would have to be cut by 88% by 2020. Simply put, the “third rail” of American politics is about to electrocute us all.

Read More »

Pick an Agency, Any Agency: SSA

August 12th, 2010 12:48 am  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Constitution, government spending, Individual Responsibility, Social Security  |  Comments Off

As fiscal conservatives continue to seek avenues through which to derail the federal gravy train, it helps from time to time to take a look at the mind-numbingly long list of federal departments and agencies that are on board. Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive – just one that is publicly available – but it can certainly give us some concrete ideas on how and where to cut the spending.

Today: The Social Security Administration (SSA)

About: “The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on 8/14/35. Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940. ”
FY 2010 Budget: $695 billion in benefits + $11.6 billion in administrative costs (Source)

That’s right – Social Security. The gift that keeps on giving, if you consider higher taxation, retirement ages, and future entitlements to be a gift. Social Security is the elephant in the room in American politics: everyone knows it’s an issue, but no one is willing to cut. Don’t you care about the poor and the elderly? We can’t just kick them out into the street! Anyone who proposes the end of Social Security must be a heartless monster!

Certainly, an abrupt end to Social Security would spell disaster for the millions who paid in and are dependent upon it today. Social Security, unlike most wasteful government programs today (GIPSA, anyone?), will not be abolished overnight. However, phasing out this unsustainable safety net must be a priority of fiscal conservatives, who certainly can’t be pleased with a quarter of their paycheck being pilfered before it ever finds their hands. How can it be done, while still demonstrating the respect and support that our elderly have come to expect through a lifetime of the SSA?

Read More »

Higgs On Fire: Madoff a petty crook, compared to…

July 15th, 2009 12:48 pm  |  by  |  Published in Big Government, Commentary, Economics, Free Market, government spending, Liberty, Market Regulation, Social Security  |  1

Robert Higgs is on fire, as usual, in his latest article. He logically compares and contrasts Bernie Madoff’s crimes to that of our own government.

Here is a sampling:

President Barack Obama and the sitting members of Congress have not been charged, much less convicted and sentenced, for crimes that make Bernie Madoff’s look like child’s play. Note well: I am referring here not to the assorted murders, assaults, and batteries for which these men and women are manifestly guilty—I say guilty because they not only admit these crimes, but proudly take public credit for them—but to certain of their strictly financial crimes.

Read the rest, you’ll be glad you did.