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Neither Fish nor Fowl...?
30-January-2005 | Ron Pickrell

Posted on 01/30/2005 3:47:28 PM PST by pickrell

In the opening salvos, much of the ordnance expended can be expected to be smoke rounds. Defenders often bet that the best way to hold their ground is to create confusion and uncertainty on the part of the attackers. The best antidote to this tactic is clarity on the part of the men determined to press forward the advance. Because when an advancing army is equipped with understanding and clarity of purpose, smoke has minimal effect.

The Senator Kennedys of this world will not be content with merely obliquely warning the Iraqis not to cooperate with U.S. forces, by unilaterally announcing that "...we need to pull out soon after the election..." [and thereby leave you Iraqis, who chose to defy fear, holding the bag, when the terrorists close in soon after we slink away]. Politicians of his ilk are seldom content with just treacherously thwarting U.S. policy and putting the lives of millions at risk to cynically advance his party's gamble that the only hope they have of regaining power in the future is to ally themselves with the terrorists.

No, they are busy men... They will also line up the guns against the younger generation, by pouring smoke onto the political landscape concerning Social Security. Their ammo of choice is obfuscation, morphing one meaning into another, and stirring up the dust.

The President, who has so absolutely enraged and flustered the mainstream media by totally disregarding their defeatism and their condemnation of him and his policies, is now taking on the problem which also threatens our grandchildren.

But as the saying goes, "Is it fish, or fowl, or neither?"

Social Security was originally sold to the Congress and the American people as an insurance program against poverty in the elderly. The idea was that a small amount of money would be taxed for workers, and pooled to pay out a minimal pension to protect those who for some reason did not provide for their own retirement. In order to insure that this money would never be spent by shameless politicians, the Social Security Administration was created and staffed with career professionals to remove it from political considerations.

Like many such programs, it was seen as a good idea in the beginning... Good enough, anyway, that the public bought it.

The problem is that once the original concept is in place, it can be later morphed into anything that shameless people can get away with in the haze. And it has.

As the ratio of workers necessary to support each "retiree" increased, the amount necessary to be taken from each worker was steadily increased. And THIS is where the subterfuge came in. Rather than bother about adjusting each year the percentage taken from each worker, previous Democrats have "saved" Social Security by increasing the amount taken from the worker far above what is necessary to fund outlays. To forestall alarm at this "extra taxation", the worker was solemnly assured that this money would be absolutely secured in a "lockbox" and thereby would be guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. goverment.

Oooh, sounds pretty secure, eh?

What this translated to, was that the extra "take" was mandated by law to be "invested in government bonds". The money was thereby dumped into the General Fund, and was now available for precisely what the Democrats had in mind, that of generally funding anything which could buy an additional vote.

The slogan, considered to be far too honest by Democrats, and thereby rejected out of hand, was "...keeping your money safe, by spending it immediately, and thereby preventing it from becoming the root of all evil...." It was beautiful because, with the large amount of money taken, the Congressmen could lavish it on pork for their districts and amazingly, No One Had To Pay For It!!! It was the beginning of the concept of "free government money", and would be directly used to enable the erosion of American society.

The lie that had to be maintained at all costs by the liberal media, was that this money was safe somewhere and earning interest. The reality is, that your children's, and especially your grandchildren's, employers, under threat of raid by Federal Marshalls, will withhold enough money from your grandchildren's paychecks to fund not only the then-prevailing government spending, and not only the interest on the admitted Federal debt, (which by itself will be daunting), but also to repay the amount previously "invested in government bonds" by the Social Security Administration that we are now spending to encourage and subsidize self-destructive lifestyles. As if all that weren't cruel enough, your grandchildren will also be crushed paying yet more additional money that will be cynically referred to as "interest" on the previously spent "Social Security" money.

Hear the first incoming smoke round? Duck!

{Boom} "It doesn't matter...because by the time it has accrued to crushing proportions, we'll all be dead, and it won't matter... It'll be 2028 or even later. Social Security is safe for now. It's the next generation's problem..."

Certainly a good point, Slick. Say, why are you insisting that your children send your grandchildren to a decent school? They won't get their degree until 2028, or later. By then many of us may be why will it matter?

"Well, because we want them to have a oh!"

Ah, beginning to sink in, isn't it? Every generation in our past has sacrificed for the future of their children. We voluntarily denied ourselves some comforts to assure that our children would have an even better chance than we did. We owed it to the many who handed us freedom and prosperity at the cost of so many of their lives in defeating evil in all of it's guises. We watch as a new generation of heroes is now risking life and limb doing the same for the world, over in the Middle East.

But now we see at home, a generation apparently having doubts about the usefulness of children in bring pleasure to their parents. Many decide that kids are too expensive and would cut into their lifestyle. Many go along willingly with sexualizing their children in hopes of appearing hip and "cool" to their kids. And many sadly have been fed the rat poison that learning is "acting white".

But the remainder of parents understand and have insisted that their children achieve enough education to control their lives and have a chance to build a dream.

Oddly, those same parents are inexplicably comforted that the "chickens won't come home to roost" on the ponzi scheme of Social Security until years in the future.

Another incoming smoke round! Hit the deck!

{Boom} "...This tampering with Social Security will endanger our current retirees..."

Since $ 150,000,000,000.00, (that's 150 billion for you liberal arts majors), is taken in each year, above and beyond what is paid out to current recipients, the only thing endangered is the current excess government spending. It is money successfully hidden for so many years from the taxpayer. It is money that is stolen from the worker, and the lie is that it has any relationship whatsoever to our retirement system.

But Ted Kennedy doesn't want Americans to realize this. And nothing will stop their banzai counter-attack. This system has made Kennedy the fattest Senator in more ways than one. This is not news.

Even Jack Kemp, long rumored to be a sort of Republican, recently argued that saddling future generations with debt has gone on for so long that it is practically patriotic to continue to do so! Never in our history has any future generation faced so stark a financial threat as we are bestowing upon our children.

Kemp's solution, stripped of the "spinach and gammon", is to replace the "green" Social Security bonds, which will thereby crush the next generation, with "blue" Federal bonds which, as he glowingly assured the reader, "will be backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government", and thereby crush the next generation. Rename a pig a pheasant and it will somehow no longer be a pig? What is truly saddening is to read how well his tripe was received. Rename the debt, speak of our proud founding fathers, and suddenly we are absolved of our sins. This is a Republican?

Some excellent arguments have been made here on Freerepublic for both fish or for fowl, for neither and for both. I won't minimize those arguments, but must severely summarize them here, in the interests of brevity (already a lost cause):

Many have argued that the Social Security system is a travesty, and should be eliminated entirely, as a dead fish would be better quickly discarded.

Some have argued persuasively that the system should be returned to it's original charter purpose and that a rigid means test immediately applied. Then, only the amount necessary to provide a minimum income should be paid out to those earning below the cutoff. Much like a fire insurance policy, if a person provides for his own retirement, he has no right to expect all of his premiums back if no fire occurs later. And correspondingly, only the actual amount necessary for payouts should be taxed from the worker. A live fish argument...

Others have argued that since the public now regards the program as an actual retirement program, that the program should indeed be somehow re-structured to pay out an annuity-styled amount to everyone, regardless of income. A live fowl argument...

Some have argued to just leave it alone and let the consequences fall to the next generation. We can simply pretend that we weren't there, and that someone else ignored the problem. It's the "other guy's fault" argument. A dead fowl, as I metaphorize it.

It can't be both, and neither, can it? It can't be fish AND fowl. We have to decide soon, as much damage has already been done.

President Bush is trying a Solomon-like approach to create a flying flounder. The refreshing part of it all, is that it COULD be made to work. By enabling the worker to invest ONLY the "extra take", (that $ 150,000,000,000.00 which is currently "given" quietly to Congress), the current payout program could be maintained, and the "extra take" could be invested.

By "invested", we must mean, and mandate, that this money is truly invested. If it is put into a fund which is used for home mortgage pools, as I have passionately argued for over the years, it would earn compounding interest and eventually become a serious retirement fund. We would be paying out all of that interest each month in our house ourselves.

Incoming! {Boom} "That would be disastrous! Look at Franklin Raines and the present scandals at Fannie May, Ginnie May and the like..."

Yes, let us. Since there was a scandal over Enron, over Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, should we now assume that energy is a bad idea, and all immediate sell our cars and cease heating our homes? Since Martha Stewart is in prison, should we also assume that baking is bad, and revert to eating roots and berries? Why then, would we assume that since deception has been uncovered in a Federal Agency (what an unheard of concept...), that the idea of pooling our retirement dollars and investing them into relatively safe, pooled home-mortgages is a bad idea? Many overseas investors are currently getting astonishingly rich off of our American home mortgage payments.

And, at the option of the worker, money could also be invested into municipal bonds, business bonds, or even the dreaded "stock market", stimulating growth in the economy. Most importantly, it could be a mix that each worker decides, and if the worker picks a mix of funds and doesn't constantly change it, the "fees" necessary to account for it should be in line with the Social Security administration's costs.

Incoming! {Boom} . "But that would be risky, and there would be no guarantees on that money..."

You mean like the guarantees currently in place, that your money gets immediately spent, and must be "paid back, with interest", by your grandchildren? What a vicious definition of the word "safe"...

There will be more incoming, and more smoke. It is important that the fear that the status-quo types count on be dissipated as quickly as they create it. The reality of this system must be revealed.

If President Bush can pull this off, he will be unmasking the hidden overspending that Congress has successfully concealed from the American people for so long, and the liberals will be finished.

A late round, watch out... {Boom} "It will explode the deficit..."

One of my favorites, actually. What it will do is to for the first time EXPOSE the real deficit. If this "extra money" taken in under Social Security taxes is actually used for Social Security purposes, then it will no longer be available to be spent by Congress. The liberals will then be forced to:

A.... agree to reduce spending by $ 150,000,000,000.00, the amount previously concealed in the "hidden deficit".

B.... sell the American taxpayer on paying $ 150,000,000,000.00 more in income taxes, which are unconcealable.

C.... force Hollywood to make up the difference (sell Alex Baldwin & Tim Robbin's estates).

D.... try to borrow $ 150,000,000,000.00 more, on top of current borrowing, to fund our excesses.

E.... invade and seize France, sell it for at least $ 38.00 to whoever might then bid on it (try EBAY; some people will buy anything..)

Do not think that they don't know this. Do not imagine that their ability to provide pork to their voters will be reduced without a bitter fight. The cannons will roar. Lies will fly like swarms of insects.

If the Freeper calmly denudes every liberal lie, and relentlessly dispels the smoke with truth, we can then debate amongst ourselves whether this Social Security program should have fins or feathers. Or neither. Or both.

Whatever way the consensus plays out, we owe our grandchildren an honest debate; a determined assault on the battlefield of the status quo. Because we are forced to make decisions now, that they will have to live with then... 2028.

TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: jackkemp; socialsecurity

1 posted on 01/30/2005 3:47:29 PM PST by pickrell
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To: pickrell
This is an excellent article! During the course of the next four years, I expect to hear every one of these "booms"----at least once! We will particularly hear them, I'm sure, from "the hero of Chappaquiddick".

Personally, I think many of Social Security's problems stem from the fact that so many have been grandfathered in to system, other than the elderly. Youngsters diagnosed as merely Learning Disabled are eligible for SSI benefits, which come out of Social Security funds. These folks, in many instances, have above average intellect and no other handicapping condition. Why should they, as children, draw Social Security? I've known entire families who drew Social Security! I know they didn't contribute that much.
2 posted on 01/30/2005 4:20:10 PM PST by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.......for without victory there is no survival."--Churchill)
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To: singfreedom

There are three problems with Social Security. 1)The use of SS money in the General Fund. 2) The fact that it depended on healthy middle-class salaries and wages to work - now that the good jobs were shipped overseas, those people are no longer paying into SS. 3) Immigrants are not paying into SS - many, legal and illegal are not paying taxes at all. Without these problems, there'd be no problem with Social Security.

3 posted on 01/30/2005 4:33:54 PM PST by henderson field
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To: singfreedom; Norski; norton; ThePythonicCow; endthematrix

As a late reply to the folks who had previously expressed interest in my earlier posts regarding Social Security, re:
"What Bush couldn't say...", "Such a cute story...", and "Neither Fish nor Fowl...", it is with some satisfaction that we are now seeing the issue that so many of us have pushed so relentlessly, finally being addressed.
I think the President "gets it", and can seriously use our help to spread "it" around the web.


4 posted on 02/05/2005 9:14:28 AM PST by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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