Same Pyramid, Different Day

When Jay Leno interviewed Texas Senator Ted Cruz last week he stated, in what sounded like an attempt to excuse the problems that have plagued the roll out of Obama-care, that it took seven years for the first Social Security check to go out. That didn’t sound right, and it isn’t. But the bigger point is that there is a long history of Progressive politicians lying to the American people to get a program through Congress and onto the President’s desk for a signature.

‘We’ll take your money and an equal amount from your employer. We’ll tell you that it’s being put away just for you, even though that isn’t the case. (In fact, the Supreme Court found that there is no guarantee that you’ll ever get anything back.)  When you die we’ll send your survivors a limp sum of $255, which will substitute for the (potentially) thousands of dollars you could have left them if free to put your own money away.’

What are the chances that the honest approach, above, would have gotten Social Security passed?  No wonder they had to lie.

By the way, the recipient of the first Social Security check was Ida Mae Fuller of Vermont. The first checks were sent in batches of 1000, so it could have been anybody, but Ms. Fuller’s check happened to be numbered 00-000-001, so she gets the honor. The check amount was $22.54.

Ms. Fuller paid into Social Security for just over three years before she received that first check. The total taxes she paid into the system in that time was $24.75, barely enough to cover that first check.

By the time she passed in 1975 at the age of 100, she had collected benefits of $22,888.92. Ms. Fuller collected over $22,000 that then-working folks thought was being put away for them. The same can be said for every other beneficiary that started collecting at the same time as Ms. Fuller, although it’s likely that most didn’t live as long and therefore didn’t collect as much in payouts.

So it is easy to see that it’s a mathematical impossibility that money was (or is) being put away for the benefit of those paying in. But that’s how the plan was sold to the public. I’d call that a lie, just like you can keep your health plan if you like it. For the vast majority of us, it isn’t up to us whether we keep our plan. If an employer or an insurance company decides not to offer a plan, there’s very little the average person can do about it. Think the President didn’t know?

After World War II, Social Security benefited from a young workforce supporting relatively fewer retirees. That isn’t the case any longer, which is why Social Security, and our government as a whole, are headed for financial ruin if this train isn’t stopped – and soon.

Obama-care is founded on the same principal – that young, healthy people will pay outrageous premiums for healthcare to support the older folks that consume healthcare. Same pyramid, different day in the world of progressive politics.

People will say ‘I paid in – I want what’s mine…’ The honest reply is that the money simply isn’t there. The emotional reply is “how selfish!” Is the future of your kids and their kids so trivial to you that you will put your measly government check before your loved ones? And the future of your country?

The system as currently constructed simply is not sustainable. Either we make some hard choices now and choose where the ‘pain’ will be, or we wait until the Fed prints so much money that it is all worthless. Think it can’t happen here? It is happening. Look up the Wiemar Republic. See the wheelbarrows full of money that it took in 1920’s Germany to buy everyday staples. Unless progressives of both parties are removed from power and replaced with people with a love for freedom and an understanding of what limited government really means, there’s no telling what kind of future our kids will have. That isn’t the legacy I want to leave. How about you?