San Diego — I’ve been a bit out of touch having some fun on a field trip with students to Yosemite (you can read about it on my travel blog from the link in the right hand column). Besides, to be honest with you I was growing weary of trying to shout a wake up call only to discover readers and listeners had very effective ear plugs and slept right through the alarm.
But events transpiring while I was off in beautiful surroundings have not stopped our devolution into a country that is nothing like the one I grew up in and certainly not one I want to see develop. So much has happened i hardly know where to start. So for this post I’ll start by re-visiting an old posting on Social Security.
Some of you may remember back when I wrote that by comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme, Governor Perry of Texas should apologize… to Charles Ponzi. In Ponzi’s case he actually seemed to have tried to make the pyramid scheme work while our government never has.
I took a fair amount of flack over that characterization but thought to just wait and see who turned out to be right. This week the government itself just told us the answer… I was right.
This week the government’s actuaries, who originally told the Obama administration and the public that the fund would be solvent… until 2036, re-examined their numbers and concluded that it will be in the completely out of money at least three years earlier than they thought when they tried their best to help Obama by saying that. Now they have admitted the system will be bankrupt, that is not able to meet its obligations by 2033… at the latest.
Let me copy an article by Andrew Napolitano on this news.
“This revelation should come as no surprise to those who monitor the government and its deceptive ways. When he first introduced Social Security, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that under Social Security the federal government would be holding your money for you. He deceptively fostered the idea that Social Security would be a savings account, into which employees and employers would make contributions and out of which guaranteed monies would be paid to those who reached the age of 65. Essentially, he claimed that you’d get your money back.
“The politicians believed him, but the actuaries and the judiciary understood that the government would never hold anyone’s money for him — as if it were the custodian of a bank account. In the first of several challenges to the constitutionality of Social Security, the Supreme Court found that the Social Security fund did not consist of your money. It was merely tax revenue.
“Did you know that?
“It also held that since Congress’ law-making authority is limited to the 16 discrete delegated powers granted to it in the Constitution (a truism few in Congress accept as binding) but its spending authority is open-ended (a conclusion that must torment James Madison’s ghost), Congress could collect funds, claim it was holding the funds in a savings account and then spend those funds as it saw fit — for those in need after age 65 or for any other purpose.
“Did you know that?
“And, in a curious yet revealing one-liner in the Supreme Court opinion upholding the constitutionality of Social Security, even the court recognized that there would be no trust fund in the traditional sense when it found that the tax dollars collected and supposedly designated for Social Security were “not earmarked in any way.”
“Did you know that?
“Eventually, the government would acknowledge that what it first called a savings account and then called old-age insurance and then said would be fortified by a trust fund did not even establish a contractual obligation to those who have paid the Social Security tax — which would be all of us. Thus, the feds have conceded and the courts have agreed that the money you have involuntarily contributed to the so-called trust fund is not yours and can be spent by the government as it pleases, just like any other revenue that the feds collect.
“Did you know that?
“The so-called ‘trust fund’ is not money that the government “holds” for you, as FDR promised. It is not money to which you have a lawful claim, as he claimed. It is not a guarantee for you, as he led the public to believe. The so-called trust fund is merely the difference between what is collected and what is paid out. And the feds just acknowledged that in 21 years, they are likely to pay out more than they will collect.
“Perry did not succeed this time in his quest for the Republican nomination. But he did succeed in articulating a hard truth: The same federal government that prosecutes people like Bernie Madoff for paying out more than they collect does the very same thing under the color of law.
Is a Ponzi scheme — which is basically theft by deception — lawful just because the government runs it? The Supreme Court has, in the past, clearly said yes.”
This state, California, has done the same thing to its citizens. The lottery, was sold to us and continues to be promoted as a source of funding for education, a need that in my opinion ought to be our first or at least second priority. But the establishing law contained a clause that said if the State Assembly declared an emergency it could appropriate all of that revenue into the general fund. And every year — EVERY YEAR — one of the first items of business when the Assembly convenes is to declare that emergency and appropriate all lottery revenues into the general fund where it can spend them in the same profligate ways it does all of the other tribute it receives from us vassals.
My Question is, “Are you OK with that?” On either the state or federal level? If so you will be thrilled with what is in store for you if Obama wins re-election. The gloves are off and what you need to know is out there. The problem is that the main stream news simply will not tell you, or else buries the data on the back pages knowing few will plow through all the garbage to get to it.
The real question, as November approaches, is a simple one; in fact I do not recall it ever being so simple and so straightforward. Do you believe that you as an individual are entitled to protection from responsibilities and consequences and it is the government’s main role to provide you with everything you want? Or do you believe that each individual is responsible for their own well being and should rely on the government only when they have been blind-sided by catastrophic events for which they could not reasonably have been prepared?
Do you believe the government knows best how to run enterprise and best how you should spend your money and, in fact, how much you should make? Or do you believe the best way to move the country forward is to have government do only what the Constitution, it now ignores, specifically provides grants it as its powers?
Do you believe the government ought to have the power to tell you how to live, what to do with your life and any revenues generated by your labors and can even force you to buy what it says or destroy your livelihood (as is going on now in Michigan where pig farmers are being told by the state that hogs are an “invasive species” and must be destroyed)? or do you believe you know better what you should buy for yourself, how to spend what you earn, and have the right to apply yourself and move anywhere up the economic ladder your ambition and skills will take you and then be rewarded for that success?
THe philosophies on open opposition in this upcoming election have never, NEVER been clearer. Prior to this election, those two opposing views have never been the real core values and policies for voters’ decisions about who should be president. But they are the ONLY questions of value this time. Entitlement or self-sufficiency are the core but competing principles driving the two sides and for the first time in our history we seem to have a growing number of people, mostly from the fantasy land of academia, the thug-ridden world of unions, or the delusional world of young people raised with a sense of entitlement for simply being alive, who believe openly in entitlements, socialism, and communism as viable economic and political theories.
They have, with marvelous misdirection, wrapped their rhetoric in the banner of democracy as if that was a magic word or concept and relied on the likelihood that most of the dumbed-down populace does not realize our country has never been and was not supposed to be a pure democracy, something Plato referred to as the rule of fools.
To accept the ideology that any of the flavors of socialism actually works to better the society it rules, unless some outside source of revenue apart from the tribute required of the population (such as in Finland where oil revenue props up the government) you have to toss out all of human political-governmental history. Why? Because of all the times those social theories have been applied, not a single example exists where it has raised the standard of living and improved living conditions despite its promise to do just that.
This time getting truly informed about what has and has not worked and why is critical. You must, MUST, as was never before really necessary, do your research on this. Don’t take what anyone tells you, including me, at face value until you have done your own research. Find out for yourselves what has, in the litany of governments around the world and throughout time, worked and what has not. And before you fall prey to the emotional arguments of “fairness” or that great canard of “social justice,” research how the success of various systems of economic and political authority changes with the level of complexity and maturity of the population being governed. What works perfectly on a tribal, hunter-gatherer level falls apart starting with the agrarian, surplus driven stage of development. And that perfect tribal system turns really ugly in the industrial stage.
Please, I beg you, don’t take my word for it, don’t take ANYone’s word for something so important as the future of this country and therefore the future of your children and grandchildren. Become truly, personally, individually informed. Only with an informed electorate driving this republic will it have a chance of continuing. One of the founders (the quote has been attributed to several people) when asked what they had just given the people, responded, “We have given you a Republic… if you can keep it.”
Never before, has that issue been more at the forefront of an election than this one.