Tag Archives: Social Security

GOP Headed for Showdown on Social Security and Medicare, by A.B. Stoddard

Trump says they’re untouchable. Most of the other Republican candidates and potentials say otherwise. From A.B. Stoddard at realclearwire.com:

In the prospective 2024 nominating contest, some GOP wannabes are serving up straight talk about the need to fix Medicare and Social Security, even though Donald Trump banished entitlement reform from Republican doctrine in 2016. These fiscally sober, and actually conservative, Republicans aren’t likely to win the nomination, and they’re making Trump giddy. But they could also put House Republicans and Ron DeSantis in a jam.

Nikki Haley, who announced her candidacy last month, and likely contenders Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo, have all said the looming insolvency of these programs – which take up 30% of the federal budget – must be addressed.

House Republicans vowing to find $130 billion in spending cuts had initially placed entitlements squarely on the negotiating table, but removed them after Trump and President Biden united against reform. Biden taunted congressional Republicans at his State of the Union, saying it was their “dream” to cut both popular programs, which was met with boos. Trump has released a video warning congressional Republicans not to cut “one penny” from either safety net program in their negotiations over the debt ceiling. After both events, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made it explicit: In their hunt for savings they will look elsewhere and leave both programs alone.

“Clean” increases in the debt ceiling passed during Trump’s presidency, while the debt increased by 39%. House Freedom Caucus members, who rode the Tea Party wave and sought drastic spending cuts for years, went all in on the Trump spending bender. One of those Freedom Caucus members who went on to serve as both budget director and then chief of staff to Trump – Mick Mulvaney – told The Dispatch, “The truth of the matter is that the first two years of the Trump administration, when the Republicans had the House and the Senate, we raised spending faster than the last couple of years of the Obama administration.”

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A Measure of How Left the Right Has Become, by Eric Peters

Republicans bitch about statist depredations just before they accept and defend them. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Maybe you listened to the Orange Man’s speech at CPAC the other day. I stopped listening after about ten minutes, which is about how long it took for the man to defend Social Security – and promise to keep it going.

“We’re not going back to people that want to destroy our great Social Security system,” intoned the Duce, reincarnated.

Could there be a sadder barometer of just how far to the Left what’s left of the Right has travelled?

Social Security is the Left’s greatest single legislative achievement – next to the income tax and the “Federal” (sic) Reserve system, which gave control of the nation’s money supply to the bankers who have used both the Left and the Right to further their schemes since at least the time of Andrew Jackson and probably a lot longer.

SS established in law the principle of the Left that we are literally – legally – our brother’s keeper. Or rather, that our brothers – so to speak – keep us. Chained. Us to them and them to us, forever. By dint of existing, everyone is entitled – precisely the right word – to a monthly government check in their retirement. And everyone is obliged to “contribute” to funding this. Not their own retirement; that is something people did (some still manage to) before there was Social Security when being responsible and prudent with one’s money was expected and encouraged – and being responsible for not being prudent and being irresponsible with one’s money had consequences. You are thus obliged to hand over 15 percent of every dollar you earn to finance the retirement benefits of people you never even met, who are retired right now – and then receive alms in your turn, financed by the “contributions” of those you never met who are working after you’ve stopped – and begin collecting.

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The Tragedy of Socialist Insecurity, by Eric Peters

Legally, you’ve got no claim to a return of even a penny of the Social Security taxes you’ve paid during your lifetime. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The real tragedy of Socialist Insecurity is just that.

Many of those forced to “contribute” all their working lives to this socialist wealth transfer scheme could probably have retired – in the sense of not having to work – well before reaching SS retirement age and not been dependent upon SS in their retirement.

And so independent of the government.

Instead, generations have been made into elderly – but ferocious – defenders of the government. Don’t touch my Social Security! say elderly conservatives.

They then wonder why leftism continues to advance . . .

The moral argument against socialism is self-evident. It is immoral to take what isn’t yours – and Social Security does exactly that, except worse. It persuades the taker that he has “contributed,” when in fact he has been taken. Financially as well as psychologically.

First, he is required – is forced – to hand over money, in most cases before he has even held it in his hand. His “contributions” are “withheld” – that is, deducted without his consent – from every paycheck, if he earns one. If not – if he is self-employed –  he is obliged to actually hand over the money – 15 percent of every dollar, now – which is a “contribution” in the same way that you are a “customer” of the agency that enforces the taking, should you elect not to “contribute.”

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Social Security Taxes Aren’t “Your” Money, by Ryan McMaken

Legally there’s no difference the government steals from you as Social Security taxes and the money the government steals from you as income taxes. The government is free to do as it pleases with both taxes. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

After French protestors took the street to complain about the increase in the retirement age, I read quite a few jokes in social media about how protesting in France is the local pastime.

That may be true, but let it not be said that Americans don’t feel very, very strongly about their own national pension program. I say this because in response to my article last week on raising the Social Security age, I received more furious responses than I have for any other article in many years. Here’s one example from a man whose initials are MF:

What are you, just nuts??? Having paid in to SS for over 40 years and experiencing big gov losing my records for some of my most productive years, so my stipend has been reduced; And after my wife and I planned for retirement and saved while contributing to SS, my wife died 2 months after her 65 birthday never having received a single payment from SS after paying in for 42 years. There are no spousal survivor benefits. All the contributions she paid in are gone. Age of qualification isn’t the issue. Corruption, graft and top heavy bureaucracy, while incompetents administer at the front line are the problems. Either wise up, do your research or stay away from topics you seem totally ignorant about.

Here’s one from reader RG:

I didn’t make the promise [to pay a pension at age 65] the guvvmint did. … You are a useless f**k wasting computer ink. Get your head out of your a** and breath the gathering doom. My father fought in France in WW2 and Korea, didn’t live long enough to collect his benefits nor my mother-in-law. F**k you again.

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Raise the Social Security Age to (at Least) 75, by Ryan McMaken

People live a lot longer now, and if that fact is not recognized, Social Security will soon be bankrupt. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

On January 10, the French government announced plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The change would mean that after 2027, workers in France would have to work 43 years to qualify for a government pension, instead of 42 years. French workers promptly took to the street in protest decrying even this very small reduction government welfare. 

Like many countries in Western Europe and North America, France faces a major demographic problem in that its population is aging and demanding ever larger amounts of public pension funds. Meanwhile, the younger working-age population is shrinking as birth rates continue to fall. So, the French state is looking for ways to stay relatively solvent.

For Americans who follow our own old-age social benefits systems, this problem will seem quite familiar. Although the US regime is not in as dire fiscal straits as the French one, the US’s federal government nonetheless faces huge and growing obligations to current and future pensioners. This will only grow more urgent as the population continues to age and as the numbers of prime-age workers stagnates. 

Indeed, the Social Security scheme is an excellent example of how government programs, once established, gradually become far more costly—in real per capita terms, not just aggregate terms—as time goes by.  Many recipients now spend decades collecting benefits on a program that had been sold as a program only for people who were too old, exhausted, and injured to work at all. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer workers are called upon to foot the inflated bill. 

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Dealing With Reality – There Is No “Security” In Social “Security”, by Dennis Miller

You know what’s in the government’s Social Security Trust Fund? IOUs from the government! From Dennis Miller at theburningplatform.com:

Man's hand building house of cards with social security cards isolated over white background - Dealing With Reality – There Is No “Security” In Social “Security” - Miller on the MoneyAs children, our elders programmed us with certain “core” beliefs. As adults, finding contrary evidence to those beliefs creates discomfort called “Cognitive Dissonance.” Psychology Today defines:

“Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way.”

My mother was a single parent long before it became commonplace. My grandmother was the predominant figure in my childhood development.

She was constantly praising President Roosevelt and Social Security. She explained, the government takes money out of your paycheck and “saves” it for you until you retire.


When I got my first real paycheck, the deduction for social security was more than income tax. I was shocked. She reassured me that I should be happy, the government was saving my money for me.

While she grumbled about taxes, she exempted social security, it was not a tax, it was the government saving YOUR money for YOU.

FDR Social Security Quote - Miller on the Money

It took decades for me to realize FDR, like all politicians, lied. “Cognitive dissonance” was real. I was very uncomfortable letting go of a core belief and facing reality. Despite my grandmother’s beliefs, the government was not “saving” my money.

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Doug Casey on How Social Security Increases Could Cause an Inflationary Death Spiral

Social Security was set up as a Ponzi scheme and now we are at the stage where the Ponzi falls apart. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Social Security

International Man: The Social Security Administration recently announced an 8.7% cost of living adjustment for next year. That’s the largest increase in over 40 years.

It represents an additional about $100 billion in annual spending for Social Security. Moreover, cost of living adjustments could increase even more in the future.

However, it seems the government will pay for this $100 billion by printing even more currency, which will make prices rise, even more, necessitating further cost of living increases.

What do you make of this?

Doug Casey: From its very inception Social Security was an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. They anticipated that money from new contributors would pay off early recipients. For decades they had demographics on their side; the average American was young and had a large family, and the economy was growing.

Worse, Social Security corrupted Americans, making them think they didn’t have to save for their own future—that the government would provide for them. Meanwhile, the extra tax burden made it harder for them to do so, supporting a dysfunctional bureaucracy of over 60,000 employees.

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Insecurity Made Social, by Eric Peters

Social Security is history’s biggest Ponzi scheme. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The paradox of what is styled “Social Security” is that it renders the victim insecure. How else to describe a person who has been serially mulcted for all of his working life such that his daily bread and the roof over his head are dependent upon a miserly dole?

Italicized to lay bare the unpleasant truth of the thing.

Well, one of them.

People are told by the government which forcibly compels them to give up 15 percent of every dollar they earn that they are contributing to Social Security. They are not given the choice to not “contribute.”

Government excels at definitional perversion. It uses a word to mean its opposite – in order to front-load any discussion of the subject with false premises, so as to sidetrack the debate over it into legalisms and irrelevances. The recent business regarding the possibility that the case law, Roe V. Wade may be overturned provides a fine example. The Supreme Court is not dealing with the question at issue. Instead, it is parsing legalisms having to do with the degree of federal oversight of over what is styled a woman’s “right to choose.”

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The Insecurity of Social Security, by Lance Roberts

If you’re counting on Social Security to fund a long retirement, don’t. From Lance Roberts at realinvestmentadvice.com:

The latest annual report from the Social Security Trustees showed the insecurity of social security.

According to the July 2021 snapshot from the Social Security Administration, nearly 70-million people receive a monthly benefit check, of which 51.3 million are over the age of 65.

Social Security Insecurity, #MacroView: The Insecurity Of Social Security

Social Security provides the majority of income to most elderly Americans. The system provides at least 50 percent of incomes for about half of seniors. For roughly 1 in 4 seniors, it provides at least 90 percent of total incomes. But, that dependency ratio is directly tied to the financial insolvency of the vast majority of Americans. According to a CNBC report:

“Morning Consult found that nearly 18% of adults with an annual income of $50,000 or less have no savings, while some 34% have enough to cover just three months of expenses. Another 11% would deplete savings within six months. Only 10% of that income group has more than a year’s worth of cash.

Higher-income households are only somewhat better prepared, the survey found. Among those with annual incomes of $50,000 to $100,000, about 18% said they have between three months and six months of savings. About 25% said their cash would last less than three months, and 6% had set aside nothing at all. None of those questioned in that income group had more than a year’s worth of savings.”

Social Security Insecurity, #MacroView: The Insecurity Of Social Security

Such is a huge problem that will impact boomers in retirement.

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Has Joe Biden Lost His Mind? by MN Gordon

Social Security is a lost cause but the Biden administration thinks it can “reform” it. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Are you an accidental dependent of Washington?  Many people are.  And many people don’t even realize it.

Systems of elaborate folly have been erected with the most impossible of promises.  That wealth can be created without production.  That stimmy checks can be paid without taxes.  That everyone can get free solar power at the expense of their neighbors.

Central to these promises are the central government and central planning authorities.  They promise ease and comfort and, in return, they make you a dependent.  They promise a secure retirement, and free drugs, while running a scheme that’s beyond Charles Ponzi’s wildest dreams.

Social Security, no doubt, is a tempting idea.  The government confiscates part of your paycheck every two weeks.  Then, in return, and after putting in 45 years, your retirement is subsidized.  You can enjoy your golden years in comfort.

According to Rachel Greszler, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation:

“[Social Security’s] America’s favorite entitlement program, and part of the reason it’s so popular is it’s not solvent.”

Indeed, the most popular programs are those that promise people they’ll get out more than they put in.  The promise is so appealing people trust that by hook or crook their government leaders will deliver.  Alas, those counting on Social Security may suffer a grave disappointment.

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