I decided to use a picture of the Iwo Jima memorial because, through the courage represented by those Marines, it represents America's longstanding promise of freedom for the oppressed everywhere and a better life for Americans. Sadly, today our image around the world and at home is something quite different. I pray that each of us this Sunday, the Sabbath, will take a moment to pray for her return to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and commit to playing an individual part in turning things around.
Something has been going on in America that has drastically changed our outlook and our drive for individual freedom and liberty. It didn't happen overnight, but it has dramatically picked up speed in the last five years. It really began with the onset of the progressive movement early in the 20th century but picked up steam with the New Deal in the 1930's, started running wild with the Great Society in the 1960's and took off on steroids with the election of Barack Obama in 2008.
I want to look at several critical features covering the last seventy years which have led us almost to the "point of no return" we find ourselves facing today. These features all involved spending money we either don't have or have taken away from people who have earned it and deserve to keep it. They are social security (Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930's), the War on Poverty and Medicare (Lyndon Johnson in the 1960's) and the complete disregard of the Constitution and the concepts of federalism embodied therein (Barack Obama, 2008 until ?). They have done much to destroy the foundation and fabric of the freedom and liberty which our Founders created for us with success in the Revolutionary War.
In today's blog I will limit the discussion to social security. Tomorrow I will continue with a discussion of the War on Poverty and Medicare on ensuing days. I start with Social Security since everyone is forced to participate in it (there are a few special exceptions) and we are all subject to the impact of what happens with the program.
SOCIAL SECURITY: A GIANT PONZI SCHEME
In the 1930's millions of Americans were suffering from the results of the Great Depression and continued tinkering by government with programs that made the situation worse. Social security was designed as merely a retirement supplement to provide some assistance. Funded by taxpayers in the form of a special tax item, it was supposed to help those who had lost much of their savings. The money was to be placed in a Social Security Trust Fund where it would earn interest over time and grow as more people were included in the system. Unfortunately, two major fallacies were not identified at the time.
First, it was always assumed that the increase in the number of workers would be more than sufficient to meet payout requirements. It never considered a "Baby Boomer" type of situation like we face today where the ratio of workers to those drawing from the system is nearing only 2 to 1, clearly insufficient to meet its objective. The percentage of the working age population in the workforce today is the same as it was thirty years ago, despite population growth.
Second, the government violated the trust part of the Trust Fund by putting the money in the General Fund and using it for general government operational expenses. There is no protected Trust Fund, just a bunch of worthless paper IOUs. And to make the matter worse, there is no guarantee that the funds will ever be available. Check your annual statements since they spell this out in small print.
The program is, in a nutshell, a Ponzi scheme that is beginning to crumble and the government has known about this for years but has done nothing to correct it. Politicians, after all, only worry about the next election. They can't be bothered by the truth and doing the right thing when it is so much easier to tell untruths and pander. Never trust the government to know the meaning of the word trust.
If you don't believe me, just look how Congress throws the word "entitlement" around when they speak of social security. They treat it just like a welfare program even though it is something that we've been paying into for as long as we have worked. And also remember that the money you receive is also taxed, beginning in the 1980's even though you paid taxes on the earnings at the time they were withheld. Sounds a little bit like double jeopardy, doesn't it? The average American doesn't have a clue and the politicians like it that way.
I hope this has helped to enlighten some of you about where we are headed and I hope you will join me again tomorrow when we talk about the War on Poverty. What a boondoggle that has been and continues to be and it is bankrupting us. If you are currently receiving social security benefits or expect to in the future, you need to get involved. Some changes are going to have to be made and made soon or one day we'll all receive correspondence that the piggy bank is empty.
For now, inform yourself, prepare yourself, speak up often, get involved and let's try and save this land we love and keep it free. God bless America and may God bless you. He is the only one who can bring us true Peace and Prosperity.