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Why Social Security Hurts Society and Isn’t Secure

The concept of a social safety net is well accepted throughout the Western World.  The idea that some provision should be made for those who through no fault of their own are unable to provide for themselves first appeared as a state policy in Germany in the 19th century as the Iron Chancellor, Bismarck, sought to coopt the popular appeal of socialism and strengthen the newly founded German Imperial state.  The idea struck a chord in the hearts of most people in Europe and in the hearts of its descendants around the world.

In days gone by the family, the parish church and the local community had filled this need.  However, with the growth of cities and the near total separation of these urban populations from the land, it became necessary for the wider community to accept this responsibility.

It was inevitable that since some sort of agency or bureau was needed to supervise the distribution of such aid this public apparatus would follow the trajectory of all bureaucracy: growth.  Mission creep would inevitably set in as the bureaucrats would seek to build their kingdom.  Services would increase so that the servicers would increase and one layer would insulate another.  From providing the bare necessities to those who through no fault of their own could not do so we have reached a stage where the modern ideal of fairness intersects and we have the self-selected indigent demanding a living wage for doing nothing.

This amounts to those who make provision for themselves being forced to make provision for those who don’t.  This must necessarily be so because the only way such a system to exist for any length of time is for it to become compulsory upon all to contribute for the benefit of some.  This then brings into play the economic truth that whatever you subsidize you get more of and viola the welfare rolls keep growing as the benefits keep increasing.

One of the tricks used to sell this scam to an unwitting nation was the use of the word insurance.  Everyone was familiar with the concept of insurance: pay a premium and expect coverage if the event insured against occurs.  The government called it Social Security Insurance and it seemed so reasonable.  The problem is the money has always gone directly into the general fund.  Therefore it was spent today with no provision for tomorrow.  Combine that with yearly deficit spending and the inevitable growth of the national debt and the money coming in has no relationship to the money going out.

It is a Ponzi scheme pure and simple and it always has been.  FDR and his Brain Trust social engineers knew that from the start.  The problem with a Ponzi scheme is that eventually the music stops and there are never enough chairs.  The most successful Ponzi scheme we know of was with Bernie Madof. It eventually came crashing down, and it was a pittance compared to the tenuous superstructure we have built up with Social Security.

In 2013 Social Security ran a $71 billion deficit.  This means there have been four years of consecutive cash-flow deficits, which means that the inflow is less than the outflow. According to the 2014 annual report from the programs’ trustees, the combined 75-year unfunded obligation of the Social Security and Disability Insurance Trust Funds (referred to collectively as the OASDI Trust Fund) is $13.4 trillion. That is a $1.1 trillion increase from last year’s unfunded obligation of $12.3 trillion, and this is without calculating the tens of millions more who will enter the system under President Obama’s amnesty decree.

Does anyone really believe we are ever going to make that whole?  Are we ever going to take enough out of other portions of our budget to fund these obligations?  If we don’t eventually someone will have to pay the piper.  If it isn’t us it will be our children or their children on and on until it crashes against the reality that the cupboard is bare.

This so-called insurance meant from the beginning not merely compulsory insurance it also meant compulsory membership in a unitary system controlled and enforced by the state.  The main reason such a centralized system is widely accepted as necessary was the administration convenience and the economy of scale that alone could make provision for everyone at once.  This is nothing except a government monopoly.  Not a closed monopoly where no one can compete against the 800 pound gorilla, but an open monopoly where everyone is forced to participate even if they make provisions for themselves and never take recourse to the guaranteed payout.

Even though competition is possible the accepted principle that all sheltered monopolies become inefficient over time applies here.  Just because the pyramid hasn’t collapsed yet does not mean that Social security earns the praise it garners as a successful program.  As the saying which typifies government inefficiency goes, it still equates to having the DMV run your retirement plan.

How has a system that was sold to the American public as a means to relieve the abject poverty of a few morphed into a tool for wealth distribution?  How has the once vigilant American public been convinced in not only the efficiency but the necessity of a program which is little more than a new way of packaging the discarded aims of Socialism?  It was done incrementally.

It reminds me of the story about the two pastors who meant at a conference.  Pastor A was approached by Pastor B who had once been the pastor at A’s current church, but he had been thrown out because he tried to move the piano from the right side of the platform to the left.

Pastor B: Hi, I heard you have moved the piano from the right side of the platform to the left side and that the people love you there.  When I tried it they threw me out faster than the Holy Spirit can say Jesus.  How did you do it?

Pastor A: One inch every six months.

What won’t be accepted today will be accepted ten years from now if we move there slowly.  This is classic Alinsky, and is straight out of his Rules for Radicals.

Whereas the people of the West fought for fifty years to resist the smothering embrace of Communism we have allowed ourselves to accept it by degrees under other names until what we have is in many ways indistinguishable from what they tried to make us accept.  The practice of the welfare state’s attempt to bring about a just distribution for everyone who has reached a certain age by distributing incomes in such proportions and amounts as it sees fit is merely another method under a new name of achieving Marx’s long promised goal, “From each according to his ability to each according to their need.”

It is of paramount importance that we understand the difference in a situation where a society decides to prevent the utter destitution of a few and a situation in which the state assumes the right to determine the just portion everyone must pay and the just portion everyone receives with state sponsored coercion to back it all up.  Individual freedom, personal liberty, and economic opportunity are profoundly threatened when the state is given the exclusive power to provide certain services.

This system was designed in the 1930s.  It has been tweaked and massaged several times since then however it is in essence a 1930s construct.  Whenever someone suggests finding a new way to provide for any or all of the needs now associated with the Social Security System we are greeted with visions of heartless robber barons throwing grandma off a cliff.  However it is eminently reasonable that when the best available solution based on the best available knowledge is frozen in place it becomes the most efficient way to prevent any new knowledge ever being applied to the problem.

When our desire to provide out of the public treasury for those in need is combined with a system for compelling everyone to make provision against being in need we have in effect created a third system.  This is a system under which people in certain circumstances such as old age or disability are provided for without consideration of whether or not they are able to take care of themselves or not.  Under this system everyone is provided with the standard of which the government has deiced they should have.  With no means testing we have the specter of people who make $100,000 per year receiving pensions forcefully taken from contributions from people who make $15,000 per year.

With the current average life span and the caps on the amount of income eligible for taxation almost everyone who lives long enough to collect collects more than they ever pay in.  How is that supposed to work?

Since most people want to earn what they receive and do not want a hand-out the reality of the SS Ponzi scheme has been wrapped in enough insurance type language to fill a phone book.  This has become an effort through concealment to persuade the public to accept what is in reality an income redistribution plan.  This was instituted and has evolved from an acceptable half-measure designed to induce hard-working people to accept what they haven’t earned and yet think it is fair, because they have paid in.  No matter that they routinely receive far more than they ever pay in.

One last aspect of this corrupt bargain that transfers the wealth from future generations to the present is that the SS administration uses some of the funds gained through compulsory deductions to employ publicity agencies to convince the majority of payees that the system needs to constantly expand.  Some of the money is also spent to lobby Congress for this constant expansion.  This amounts to nothing less than a group of self-interested executives allowed public funds to agitate for a larger organization to administer which means even bigger budgets for publicity and lobbying.  It is a self-perpetuating pyramid scheme that uses the money of the victims to gain authority over ever larger portions of the victim’s income and lives.

This superstructure has been built over generations by the elected representatives of the people and the bureaucrats they employ.  However, I believe it is doubtful if Americans would have turned their backs on the work ethic which made us great and embraced spreading the wealth around as a tool for social engineering.  If they had fully known where they were headed and what the end result would be: a centrally planned collectivist entitlement machine hurtling towards a fiscal cliff, they would have rebelled.

When we add this all up we find that the scales are now weighted against individual liberty, personal freedom, and economic opportunity.  In the end after every deduction and every benefit Social Security hurts society and it isn’t secure.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2014 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven

HeavenEverybody wants an “A” but nobody wants to study.  Everybody wants to be rich but nobody wants to save.  Everybody wants to lose weight but nobody wants to exercise.  Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.  No matter how you say it, the desire for something without the willingness to do the hard things required to achieve it, will always lead to disappointment.  This is the cadence of the conundrum, the drumbeat of the do-nothing dreamer, the national anthem of the nihilist; the perennial I want but I will not work formula for failure.

The signature phrase for the conservatives of this generation of Americans should be, “We all want a sound economy but we aren’t willing to endure the life-style changes it would take to get there.”

Case in point: the coming Fiscal Cliff, the looming disaster of sequestration that every talking head on every network blathers about endlessly, “It will happen” “It won’t happen.”  Pick a side and it will be argued back and forth hour after hour, “The President won’t let it happen, “The President wants it to happen.” Over and over we are barraged by the same few people who constitute the pundocracy of America debate what will happen.  There is only one thing they are all agreed upon.  If we go over this cliff, created by a vote of Congress and a signature by the President it will be terrible for our country.  Why stop there? It will be terrible for the entire world.

Just think, if we Americans raise our taxes and reign in our drunken sailor spending binge it will be a disaster for us and for everyone who draws breath on this planet. Not to worry we, the poor unwashed in fly-over country, don’t have to scratch our pumpkin heads and wonder why it would be a disaster if our country took the steps necessary to save our economy the network appointed chatter chiefs are quick to tell us.

One side says raising taxes on anyone in a weak economy may push us over into a recession.  This of course comes from the people who evidently don’t buy their own bread, pump their own gas, or know any of the millions who are now permanently out of work, in other words personally prosperous people who believe the Great Recession actually ended.  The other side says raising taxes on anyone they don’t consider rich would be a disaster.

Both sides agree that at least half of the spending cuts would be a disaster.  One side points at defense spending as a surrender of national security.  While the other side points at cuts in entitlements as throwing grandma off the cliff.

The answers they propose are as predictable as a Hallmark Christmas movie.  The Progressive Democrats say raise the taxes on the evil rich and cut spending to the defense department.  The Progressive Republicans say raise revenues by closing loop holes and cut spending on entitlements.  The problem with this is that just like Representative Paul Ryan’s draconian budget it still never gets us to a balanced budget let alone paying down the principle on the National Debt.  Both sides favor plans that keep on borrowing even if it might be at lower levels than at present.  Maybe we will only borrow thirty six cents of every dollar instead of forty six.  Wow!  That should really make our arrival at the ash heap of History a few moments later.

And that is the heart of the problem.  Or as another old saying tells us nobody wants their own ox gored.  It is the “Not in my backyard syndrome” applied by everyone to something.  We all want cuts in spending but not in our spending.  We all agree that wasteful programs should die but every program has its supporters.  This is where reality takes a bite out of dreams.  Unless we balance our budget and reverse the slide into bankruptcy our days as a great power, let alone our days as the world’s only super power, are numbered, and everyone knows China is counting off the numbers.

Looking around in the cloistered world of self-appointed opinion writers I hate to have to be the one to tell my fellow Americans this but we have to do the work to get the “A,” save the money to get rich, do the exercises to lose the weight, and we most assuredly will have to die to go to heaven.

We, through our elected representatives, have spent like there was no tomorrow until tomorrow is mortgaged to pay for today without asking the question, “How are we going to pay for tomorrow?”  I guess we have always figured we could use the day after tomorrow for collateral.  That may work for a while or at least until our children and grandchildren have been sold into slavery to the highest bidder.

Unfortunately my generation, the Boomers who proudly offered Bill Clinton and George Bush the Younger as our contribution to the pantheon of American Presidents, has kicked the can down the road while paraphrasing Louis XV on the eve of the French Revolution, “After me the flood.”  Or as many fellow boomers have phrased it to me, “It won’t crash in my lifetime.”

Now the handwriting is on the wall, the torches and pitchforks are seen on the horizon, and it is becoming obvious though the end may not come on December 21, 2012 it isn’t too far off.  Anyone who isn’t comatose in the cultural soma of social media and the game can see you can’t continue to spend more than you bring in forever.  The interest on the National Debt is going to eat us alive. Our creditors won’t keep lending us more and more once they realize our only answer is to print our way out of debt.  Ask any scam artist trying to live by charging their Visa to the MasterCard when the shop keepers start cutting up the cards the happy days aren’t here anymore.

What we need to do is go over the fiscal cliff, and instead of using the ensuing economic contraction as an opportunity to re-launch the United   States in a fundamentally new direction tighten our belts.  We have got to go through a period of austerity to return to reality.

Endlessly printing money always leads to money that isn’t worth anything.  Even if our current leaders think they have figured out a soft landing for this lead balloon they haven’t, and when that bubble pops the economy stops.

Our fiscal conservatives who want to return to a gold standard should tell everyone that doing that will cause a contraction in the value of money that will resemble a train going 100 miles an hour hitting a brick wall.  There just isn’t enough gold in the world to value every American dollar at one dollar.  A return to gold would give us an economy based on real money, and that would be a good thing.  However the proponents of this course need to be honest about the transition from funny money to real money: there will be a great deal of pain on the way back to reality.

There are plans to do something from the right. There is the plan to cut off Social Security at 55. Everyone younger having paid into the world’s greatest Ponzi scheme all their lives get another deal.  Even if it is a better deal they will still feel like they are getting ripped off because they are.  There is also the plan to cut all the wasteful spending out of Medicare but leave it all over at the Pentagon.   These plans won’t fly because they only have one wing.

The left has a plan too.  Raise taxes on the rich, and keep on spending.  This may eventually pass due to the President’s perceived strength and the Republican leadership’s Progressive inclinations and acceptance of defeat but it will only continue our progress towards national suicide.

The fact is we can either choose to cut the spending, raise revenues, and save the future or we can continue to stagger like drunken sailors spending our children’s as yet unearned money until our creditors pull in the leash.  I know calling for higher tax revenues is heresy to most conservatives, and I am not in favor of the government taking one more cent than necessary for Constitutional purposes.  Saving the country from ruin is the ultimate Constitutional purpose.

Like any household that is buried in debt we need more money and less spending; the trick is getting both.  The slight-of-hand artists in Washington are great at striking Grand Bargains for taxes now and spending cuts that never materialize.  That never has worked and it certainly won’t work now.  We could do it without tax increases.  Without taxes the spending cuts would have to be much deeper and more painful, and we can’t get anyone to sign on for the pain of cuts with taxes.

Here’s the secret of raising revenues with taxes.  We can’t raise rates which merely increases tax avoidance.  A flat tax would bring in increased revenues by growing the economy and would indeed be fair.  In contrast raising rates in a progressive tax system is merely punitive and is a populist trick to buy the votes of those who earn less.

If we don’t endure the pain now, if we don’t endure the necessary radical fiscal surgery despite years on life support, decades of refusing to take our medicine will finally cause our economy, and with it our dreams of a brighter future, to die.  However, we won’t get to go to heaven.  Instead we will go into debtor’s prison as our beloved nation sinks beneath mountains of debt into the second or third rank.  We will watch as a tomorrow which could have been ours becomes someone else’s.

When our children and grandchildren ask us, “Where’s my inheritance?” we will have to say, “We spent it yesterday.”  When they ask, “Where’s our future?” we will have to say, “We spent that too.”

Instead of being pushed over the cliff, let’s dive over and then resist any attempt to restore the spending.  Let’s take the pain so our children can gain.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

Duped by Congressional Lies

Walter E. Williams

Some of the responses to my column last week, titled “Immoral Beyond Redemption,” prove that Americans have been hoodwinked by Congress. Some readers protested my counting Social Security among government handout programs that can be described as Congress’ taking what belongs to one American and giving to another, to whom it doesn’t belong — legalized theft. They argued that they worked for 45 years and paid into Social Security and that the money they now receive is theirs. These people have been duped and shouldn’t be held totally accountable for such a belief. Let’s look at it.

The Social Security pamphlet of 1936 read, “Beginning November 24, 1936, the United States Government will set up a Social Security account for you. … The checks will come to you as a right.” (http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssb36.html). Americans were led to believe that Social Security was like a retirement account and that money placed in it was, in fact, their property. Shortly after the Social Security Act’s passage, it was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court, in Helvering v. Davis (1937). The court held that Social Security was not an insurance program, saying, “The proceeds of both employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.” In a 1960 case, Flemming v. Nestor, the Supreme Court said, “To engraft upon Social Security system a concept of ‘accrued property rights’ would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands.”

Decades after Americans were duped into thinking that the money taken from them was theirs, the Social Security Administration belatedly and quietly tried to clean up its history of deception. Its website (http://www.ssa.gov/history/nestor.html) explains, “Entitlement to Social Security benefits is not (a) contractual right.” It adds: “There has been a temptation throughout the program’s history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense.

… Congress clearly had no such limitation in mind when crafting the law.” The Social Security Administration’s explanation fails to mention that it was the SSA itself that created the lie that “the checks will come to you as a right.”
Here’s my question to those who protest that their Social Security checks are not handouts: Seeing as Congress has not “set up a Social Security account for you” containing your 45 years’ worth of Social Security contributions, where does the money you receive come from? I promise you it is not Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. The only way Congress can give one American a dollar is to first take it from some other American. Congress takes the earnings of a person who’s currently in the workforce to give to a Social Security recipient. The sad fact of business is that Social Security recipients want their monthly check and couldn’t care less about who has to pay. That’s a vision shared by thieves who want something; the heck with who has to pay for it.

Then there’s the fairness issue that we’re so enamored with today. It turns out that half the federal budget is spent on programs primarily serving senior citizens, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But let’s look at a few comparisons between younger Americans and older Americans. More than 80 percent of those older than 65 are homeowners, and 66 percent of them have no mortgage. Homeownership is at 40 percent for those younger than 35, and only 12 percent own their home free and clear of a mortgage. The average net worth of people older than 65 is about $230,000, whereas that of those younger than 35 is $10,000. There’s nothing complicated about this; older people have been around longer. But what standard of fairness justifies taxing the earnings of workers who are less wealthy in order to pass them on to retirees who are far wealthier? There’s no justification, but there’s an explanation. Those older than 65 vote in greater numbers and have the ear of congressmen.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

“The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act”

“The Millionaire Subsidy Elimination Act” have convinced me that the relationship between benefits and contributions to Social Security is poorly un­derstood. Your editorial tone is one of comfort with making the benefit formula more pro­gressive. Messrs. Moore and Williams appear to favor “modest” means-testing of Social Security.

Social Security retirement benefits are already means-tested coming (via the bene­fits formula) and going (via the income tax). I’ve not done a benefits calculation for some years, but I think that the brackets crediting contri­butions are still 90%, 32% and 15%, with the lower bracket applying to larger contribu­tions. That’s steeply gradu­ated in favor of lower contrib­utors by any standard. It’s unconscionable that one should argue for more severe means testing.

Incidentally, why has there been no comment about im­pact on future Social Security benefits in conjunction with the payroll tax holiday and the debate about extension thereof?

Robert G. Brown Kennett Square, Pa.


Gingrich Has Some Real Answers for Social Security

Newt Gingrich’s entitle­ment reform plan, which I drafted, would empower workers with the freedom to choose a personal account to finance their future Social Se­curity benefits (“The Newtitlement State,” Review & Out­look, Dec. 8). The plan would expand the accounts over time ultimately to finance all of the benefits financed by the payroll tax today, through private savings, investment and insurance, eventually dis­placing the payroll tax en­tirely. Moreover, the personal-account savings and investment system would be fully funded, entirely elimi­nating all future deficits and unfunded liabilities of Social Security. The Social Security benefit cuts which your edito­rial promotes would result in insignificant spending reduc­tions by comparison, ren­dered unnecessary by the ac­counts.

Yet at the same time, fu­ture seniors would enjoy higher benefits than even promised by Social Security today, let alone what it could pay, because of the long-term market investment returns earned by the accounts.

The Gingrich plan would extend the overwhelming proven success of the 1996 AFDC block-grant reforms to all remaining federal, means-tested programs, 185 such programs by my count, and send­ing welfare entirely back to the states. Those programs are estimated to cost $10 tril­lion over the next 10 years alone. But under the 1996 AFDC reforms, the cost to fed­eral taxpayers was cut in half, while the poor benefited with higher incomes through work. The entitlement reforms alto­gether would more than fi­nance the transition to Social Security personal accounts, through reduced government spending.

Mitt Romney’s Medicare re­form plan, by contrast, would impose Mr. Romney’s changes to Medicare on future seniors rather than allowing them the freedom to choose a better system as under the Gingrich plan. Indeed, Mr. Romney has not even specified how his Medicare plan would work.

Peter  Ferrara  Easton, Pa.

Putting the Paste Back in the Tube

We all know that trying the same thing over and over expecting different results is a popular definition of insanity.  And we also know that putting the paste back in the tube is a popular illustration of an impossible task.  

I tested the first truism mentioned above as a young man whose motto should have been, “I’ll never do that again – I just did it again.”  For some reason just as not going to school didn’t lead to improved job prospects attempting to spend every day at a party didn’t lead to happiness.  Over and over I valiantly kept trying to rock-n-roll all night and party every day.  I developed a patented hang-over cure. Stay drunk.  I figured it wasn’t the drinking that caused the hangover it was the getting sober, and I tried my best to avoid hangovers from the time I was fifteen until I was thirty.   Then at thirty I had my Come-to-Jesus moment, meaning I literally came to Jesus.  With His guidance I found another path which included school and working which yielded a different result including a soul mate for a wife, a son to be proud of, and a wonderful life. 

Turning to the second truism mentioned above, as a person who actually tried putting toothpaste back in the tube I can attest that it deserves its symbolism as impossible.  At best you can manage to get a little back in the tube.  But the process is messy, frustrating and in the end so fruitless it’s laughable.  All of which brings me to my question for the week.  Can those of us who believe in limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom walk America back from the cliff to which the embrace of Progressive leadership and its collectivist mindset, one hundred years of reinforcement by indoctrination, and an addiction to entitlements have led us? 

How best to describe the problem we face?  Often a good example will expose a basic problem better than any technical explanation.  Look at the debate about the payroll tax extension.   Both wings of the Party of Power continue the baseline inspired fiction that you have to pay for tax cuts when all they ever do is allow those who earn money to keep it.  The Democratic wing, always seeking to divide America into interest groups, contends the only way to pay for tax cuts on one segment of the population is to tax someone else.  Therefore they propose to pay for the extension by taxing millionaires and billionaires.   The Republican Progressives propose cutting federal salaries to pay for it.  An approach which sounds as it if should appeal to those seeking to re-limit the central government.    

Looking at the first solution, taxing the rich to give to the un-rich is merely more of the same spreading-the-wealth-around income distribution socialism that is the hallmark of the Democratic wing of the Party of Power. 

Turning to the second solution it sounds good while in reality it is more baseline thinking where cutting a proposed increase is a cut even though the budget still increases. Instead of cutting salaries why not cut some of the tens of thousands of new bureaucrats which have been added in just the last two years?   Merely cutting the salaries of the hordes of federal drones is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.  It may look better but ultimately it really won’t help keep the ship of state afloat.  This is typical of the governance proposed by the big government Republican wing of the Party of Power.  It may look good, it may even sound good, but when you peel back the onion the deficits continue and the debt goes up. 

Peering through the fog generated by the media amplified rhetoric the entire debate is bogus because the original payroll tax cut was a trap to begin with.  It put money in the pocket of every person who receives a pay check by letting each of us keep a little more of the money we earned.  But the payroll tax is what supports the current recipients of Social Security.  There is no Trust Fund.  That is a fiction, since the money goes directly to the general funds to be replaced by IOUs that aren’t worth the paper they would be printed on if they weren’t electronic.  If this money is taken away Social Security loses even the illusion of a pay-as-you-go system and is starkly revealed for what it is: welfare for seniors.  

It is time for my generation to admit we have been ripped off for every cent ever extorted from us for Social Security, and the only way we can receive benefits is to have the government extort it from our children and give it to us.  By decreasing the plunder taken from the kids and instead taking it from the perennial enemies of the Democratic Progressives, the most productive, Social Security is revealed for what it is: just another welfare entitlement.  And merely lowering the salary of a bloated bureaucracy perpetuates the growth and legitimizes the recent exponential expansion of a centrally-planned government that has run amuck.  It also makes social security visible as the Ponzi scheme it has always been. 

Europe is exploding because the bill is coming due for countries that have played this social welfare shell game for generations.  Austerity is the word that is igniting riots and strikes from Athens to London.  Faced with the possibility that they won’t be able to retire at fifty with full pensions, generous benefits, and guaranteed vacations people are throwing fire bombs and toppling governments.   

Western Civilization was born in the Mideast, was launched as a world embracing power from Europe, and culminated in the great experiment of America.  Today Western Civilization teeters on the edge of destruction.  Our Federal Reserve is pumping out funny money faster than anyone can count trying to prop up the European launching pad as we abandon our occupation of the Middle Eastern cradle and fear for the continued vitality of its American summit.  Western Civilization burns while our Party of Power plays the fiat financial fiddle.  Will we continue the shadow dance pretending we have a limited government or will we muster up the courage to tell our media enhance perpetually re-elected puppet master that he who pays the piper calls the tune? 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

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