Remember Orwell's book "Animal Farm"
When the farm house was empty, after the animals drove the farmer out,
the rules painted on the side of the barn read:
"All Animals Are Equal?
Later, after the pigs, alleged to be the smartest animals, moved into
the farm house, the rules painted on the side of the barn read:
"All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others"
Stll valid today as it was over 50 years ago when it was written.
Quite a bit of difference between government contractors, civil servants,
military personnel, or even for that matter politicians. Those people are
providing a service in return for wages. Entirely different thing than
receiving government largesse with nothing being expected in return (other
But then you knew that.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
The number of older people extracting more from the system than
they ever put is large and growing. They are every bit the
same as the putative "welfare" recipients, they just don't like
being told so.
Oh, and they (the elders) are *the* voting block. I have no idea
if they contribute to political campaigns.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP /
I realize that is the socialist perspective and I reject it.
First of all, any retirement plan functions like insurance,
some claimants get more than they put in while others
get less. Social Security was running a surplus up until
the time that LBJ convinced the Congress to merge it into
the General Fund, even without investing the money.
Social Security has become a Ponzi scam only because the
Feds managed it like Ponzi. Had it been managed responsibly,
there would be no problem.
People retiring today have spent a lifetime paying into their
SSA, or in some cases being married to someone who has.
Had that money been invested, as any good retirement fund
should be, there would be no problem. Their current situation
is quite analogous to that of a person who paid into a private
retirement plan and had their balance embezzled by the
management. They expect nothing more than would be
available were it nor for the gross malfeasance of the Federal
Government, holding the malfeasor responsible for it.
Whether or not the operation of such a mandatory retirement plan
falls within the Constitutional authority of the Federal Government
is an entirely separate matter.
SS is still running a surplus and will be for the next decade or so.
From it's inception under FDR, the SS surplus has been "invested" in
intra governmental bonds by law. This means any surplus has always been
bought from SS by the federal government in exchange for an IOU. What
was changed is the federal government accounting of this - the surplus
received from SS is counted as revenue for the current fiscal year, and
the IOU is NOT counted as an expenditure. This leads folks to believe
there really was a surplus in the late '90s when in fact the national
debt has increased every year since 1960.
The SS and the 150 or so other trust funds account for $4 trillion of
the $9 trillion debt.
Politicians who talk about "raiding" the trust fund are either ignorant
of the current law and situation or trying to obfuscate thinking that
the public doesn't know there's no money in the fund to be raided and
there never has been. They also reject the only other form of
investment which would be non governmental notes and equities
(privatization) as being too "risky" and instead suggest increasing the
withholding thereby accumulating debt at an even faster rate!
That's not the only reason. The underlying root cause that
LBJ did what he did is that the sheeple demanded more and more
from government while simultaneously objecting to increased
taxation. The money had to come from somewhere and LBJ practiced
some creative accounting.
Even if he had not, though, it is far from clear that the system
was sustainable in the long-term. People are living longer and longer.
A whole generation from the 1960s has failed, on average, to save
much for their own retirement (partly because many did not trust
capital markets and partly because many wanted to wish socialism
into existence in this nation - the exceptions prove the rule.)
Social security was NOT EVER conceived to be a "good retirement
fund". It was supposed to be "supplemental". The aforementioned
refugees from the 1960s have decided that it is to be the
former, not the latter, and have the bullying voting block to
make it so.
Mostly I agree with what you wrote, with two important exceptions:
1) The "rights" under Social Security/Medicare have been steadily
expanding. It started out as a supplemental insurance program,
but now is increasingly seen as much more than that. The
Bush "drug benefit" is completely off the reservation, without
merit, and excruciatingly expensive.
2) If all this had been privately done, as should have been the
case, people who abused the system or stole from it could at
least have been jailed for embezzlement (or worse). What
are we going to do to the political scoundrels that are
bankrupting the system? Isn't it ironic that LBJ (who was a
malignant fool on many, many levels) used one form of socialism
to pay for another? The results speak for themselves.
It certainly does not appear as one of the enumerated powers.
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
I'm not so sure that the people demanded we go to war in Vietnam,
so much as they were indifferent about it until there were half a
million US troops in theater.
It would only be sustainable if the monies were invested.
Regardless of how much it was to provide, a promise was made
to the payees that they would receive benefits later and only a
dishonest person belyaches about having to make good on that
The 'rights' under Social Security were established by promising
benefits later in exchange for payments now, which is how any
retirement plan works.
Medicare is another issue entirely.
Again, can you provide a number for the estimated cost of the
prescription drug plan? I'd like to see how that compares to the
estimated trillion dollar budget for the war with Iraq.
Name places for them and put their images on stamps and coins.
The Vietnam war was not a form of socialism.
IMHO, the proper course of action in the 1930's would have been
a very small number, perhaps 2 or 3 Constitutional amendments,
rather than twisting the ICC and other clauses beyond recognition.
The approach to the interpretation of the ICC implied by Thomas'
dissent in the medical marijuana case should be how the ICC
is generally viewed.
Note that agricultural subsidies would remain Constitutional as
they only apply restrict commodities sold in interstate commerce.
I like the sentiment, but this one's not realistic. The U.S. Code, and all of
the states' statutes, are too massive for anyone to memorize. How 'bout this
instead? Any legislator who wants to pass a bill has to submit it to a
committee of its opponents, who will prepare a test on its important points.
Anyone who wants to vote for the bill has to take and pass the test first.
Precisely. If they have to memorize it then they'll have an incentive
to cut it down to a reasonable size. It's also too massive for anyone
to carry around. If ignorance of the law is no excuse then the law
should be compact enough that one has a reasonable hope of actually
knowing all of it.
Nope. Doesn't require an awareness of existing laws.
> Precisely. If they have to memorize it then they'll have an incentive
But it would force them to know exactly what they are voting for, from the
perspective of people who don't like it. I rather suspect that most legislators
don't even read many of the bills they vote on, and don't really know more than
what the sponsors themselves tell them about a few vague high points of most
Do it for one house, not both. The original intent was that one house
would be filled with professional career legislators and the other
with short-timers who would go back to their lives after they finished
their terms. It didn't work out that way.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.