Rand Paul’s Social Security Screw-Over

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Supposed Libertarian Rand Paul is advocating increasing the age of eligibility to receive SS benefits (article follows below). In other words, screw over (again) the younger generation that has been paying (and will continue to pay) the highest SS taxes, for the benefit of the old febes drawing SS today – the febes who typically paid very little into the system relative to the benefits they draw. Keep in mind that SS taxes were very low until the 1980s; today, the total tax is almost 15 percent – on top of federal and other taxes. People in their 40s and younger today will pay enormous sums into the system and are assured of not even getting back what they paid in (given inflation, what they might have done with the money had it not been taken from them; the fact that they will likely die long before recouping a fraction of what they paid in). 

Paul – the supposed Libertarian – said nothing about letting the younger generation opt out of SS – which many of us would love to do, even to the extent of agreeing to forgo all future benefits in return for not having to “contribute” any more from here on out.

Just pay more – and get less.

Screw Rand Paul.

He’s turning out to be another Republican. “Privatize” everything – so the shyster class can make a buck. Do nothing about ending (or even challenging) the system of intergenerational parasitism we suffer under.   

Here’s the AP story:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said Sunday the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare may need to be raised for future recipients.

But Paul, speaking during the first televised debate of the general election season with Democratic opponent Jack Conway, said he doesn’t want to change those benefits for older people already receiving them. The debate was aired on “Fox News Sunday.”

“But we do have to admit that we have the baby boom generation getting ready to retire, and we’re going to double the amount of retirees,” Paul said. “And to put our head in the sand and just say we’re just going to keep borrowing more money is not going to work. There will have to be changes for the younger generation.”

Major issues of the race thus far have been spending, taxes and the size of government.

Paul is a favorite of the tea party with his positions for smaller government and a balanced budget. Conway, the state’s attorney general, has also appealed to conservatives, describing himself as a fiscally responsible Democrat who understands why voters are frustrated about rising federal spending.

Paul and Republican leaders have tried to paint Conway as a clone of the Obama administration.

Conway said Sunday that he would have supported “some” of President Barack Obama’s initiatives, including the health care overhaul. He said he would have voted against a $700 billion bailout program for troubled financial institutions that was started under President George W. Bush, a Republican.

“There was not enough accountability in them,” he said. “We had people getting bonuses after getting the bailouts.”

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50 COMMENTS

  1. One of the most galling aspects of social security is that you have to pay income tax on the 7.65% of your income that is taken away for it, as if that money was ever yours. And then you might be taxed on the money you draw from social security. Yeah, it’s triple taxation.

    Another thing that makes me furious is that I did a spreadsheet a couple of years ago, using the assumption that each year I had bought gold with the social security money that was taken from me that year. Turns out that I would now have about a million dollars worth of gold. I’d sure rather have that than promises from the government.

    • WE should all just pay our 65% or more ACTUAL tax and be happy. At least we’re not on mice wheels yet! Clovers are still working on that..

    • I did the same maff once.

      If I had the SS taken from me since I began working in my teens – and if I did not have to pay rent to the government to continue to occupy “my” land – I would have no money worries in that I would not need to work to live. I could work because I enjoyed the work.

      That was the American dream, once.

      It has become a nightmare.

    • @Mike in Spotsy……that 7.65% figure you cite is not quite correct.

      Yes, they take 7.65% from your check, but “only” 6.2% goes to the SS ponzi scheme. The other 1.45% goes to Medicare. more on that in a second. “Your” 6.2% is matched by your employer, making the total a whopping 12.4%. Don’t think that because your boss or company pays it that it isn’t your money. It is. Employers factor that extra money into your “total compensation”, as they do with any benefit package you may receive. All of that is what they deem you to be worth to the company, and it’s siphoned off the Uncle Sam.

      When SS started, people were taxed 1% (matched by their employer) on the FIRST $3000. The maximum contribution was $60 a year ($30 worker/$30 match). Now the 2% total is 12.4% and the maximum amount taxed has risen from $3000 to $118,500. That means that top earners are paying almost $15k per year into the scheme. The maximum benefit you could receive is $2663 per month, and that’s if you maxed out every quarter for your career. You would receive in each year of retirement approximately two years worth of contributions…..and that doesn’t take into account the money your money would’ve earned if it were invested. It’s not hard to see how today’s workers are being hosed.

      They’ll inevitably keep raising taxable earnings ceilings, while keeping the maximum benefit depressed to make up for their empty promises. They’ll also likely raise the retirement age, as they already did in my case, from 65 to 67-1/2. They will do whatever they can to keep the house of cards from collapsing, but collapse it will. It’s inevitable.

      The bigger issue is Medicare. Hospital costs, especially today as life spans are increased will far outweigh contributions. While the most you can receive from SS is $33k or so in a year, a single week-long hospital stay with a surgery can eat a LIFETIME of 2.4% contributions. Ponder that. That is where the whole government scheme comes unraveled and there is no solution. I have a front row seat, having been in healthcare for 30 years next month. If high earners’ contributions can be gobbled up with a single stay in the hospital, imagine what low income individuals, who have typically more health problems, will do to this system.

    • The government does not ever need to borrow money . Ever heard of “Greenbacks “? The ” Federal Reserve ‘ is a private government construct ,get over it people . They truly create money out of thin air and loan it to the Government of the US at interest . Whom is coming out the loser in that deal ? .Its enough to make me very mad ,the bailout money could have and should have distributed to the people of this country ,then you would have seen a real economic boom for awhile at least (we needed it more then the ones that lose it for us )

      • “the bailout money could have and should have distributed to the people of this country”
        No, there should not have been a bailout. The banksters and their insurance fellow travelers should have gone belly up, all of them, not just a select few. Yes, there would have been a depression. But as long as the gunvermin did not interfere, it would have righted itself in fairly short order. Here we are, 7 years later, and they still have to jigger the figures in order to claim we are in recovery.
        Of course the gunvermin is partially to blame – coercing mortgage lenders to offer high risk loans or face discrimination charges.
        BTW, ever wonder why AIG was one of those ‘rescued’? Couldn’t have had anything to do with the fact that they insured the Congressional retirement fund, could it?

  2. A simple search on the internet pulls up articles and video of Rand Paul supporting the ability to opt out of social security. This is a video made by Democrats to attack Republicans as being evil and extreme–so, of course, it includes a couple clips of Rand Paul talking about the ability to opt out of S.S:

    http://youtu.be/PYJQX_oWark

    (You don’t capitalize the “L” in libertarian when you are talking about philosophy.)

    • Of course. To a Democrat – and a Republican – nothing is more foreign than freedom. Leaving people alone to make their own decisions in life, free of coercion. Can’t have that. Republicans are (to me) even more loathsome than Democrats, though – because they posture as advocates of “freedom” – in quotes because what they advocate is anything but freedom. They are as or even more authoritarian than the Democrats (don’t forget who gave us “Homeland” security, the “Patriot” act and the TSA) and I will hate them forever for it.

      • Yeah, well you better tune up that “hate”, because when those “urban warriors” trained in Afghanistan get home and start going house to house collecting your guns at the behest of BHO, you’ll have plenty to bitch about then. And those plastic mass burial vaults will be filling up so fast, it’ll make heads spin.

        • We’ve had this debate here many a time but I’ll summarize:

          1) How’s that working for them in A-stan or Eye-rack, against skinny goatherders with home-made AK’s?
          2) The fastest-growing “awakened” population–the military. 75% of their political donations went to Ron Paul, and a huge number are Alex Jones listeners. I run into Oath Keepers all the time now.
          3) Occupations are historically failures. Occupying your own country–even worse. Their logistics will be impossible…especially if their supplies are cut off.
          4) 150 million gun owners. > 300 million guns. Tens of millions of proper battle rifles; I can’t use all mine at the same time so my trusted neighbors and friends will get some. If even 5% decide they’ve had enough, the PTB are fucked.

          You’ll note that the Soviets disarmed every country they absorbed in Eastern Europe. No armed country has even been occupied successfully.

          They might have taken us by surprise if they’d been patient–but they made the biggest strategic mistake ever in the history of the loathsome NWO when they started the gun-grab for real last year.

  3. You could be even more direct and tell them that they will get what they “dam* well paid for” and not a penny more. Then after the money runs out in two years of SS checks *they* will wish they had invested it in something that earned interest.

    Or even require the government NOT to pay to people that never paid into the system, that seems fair, but when you are running a Ponzi scheme you want as many fellow victims as possible.

  4. If they want to privatize it for the future, or allow an opt out that’s fine but I have paid into that system for 37 years and they dam* well better give me back what I paid into for all those years with some kind of interest.

    • Well, here’s the thing:

      All the money taken from you (and me) and every other person who paid in is gone; current benefits are paid by taxes on current workers. Social Security is not a system in which your money went to an account from which your benefits are paid. Your money was simply given away to others. To pay you money today, money must be taken from current workers; in brief, it is intergenerational theft.

      I understand your anger; I share it. But the fact is you have no more right to steal from today’s workers (getting the government to do the dirty work) than yesterday’s retirees had a right to steal from you.

      The moral issue is simple.

      Let me put it another way. You have just been robbed at gunpoint; your wallet and all its contents taken. This is a crime and you are a victim. But does the fact that you have just been robbed give you the moral right to mug the next guy who comes along to make up for your loss?

      Social Security is exactly the same only it’s been made to appear less directly violent by the “process” of withholding. But make no mistake: The money is taken by force (or the threat thereof) and it is not put into an annuity or insurance of any sort. It is spent – immediately. Gone. In order for you to get your check, new victims are necessary.

      That’s the system you are supporting.

      • Dear Eric,

        A friend sent me this pertinent article.

        The Wealth of Nations

        1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

        2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

        3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

        4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

        5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!

        I’ve always loved aphorisms with symmetry. They are both logical compelling and aesthetically pleasing.

        This one is particularly nice.

        2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

        • Morning, Bevin!

          That’s a keeper – especially:

          “When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!”

          No doubt you know the real Thanksgiving story? Not the one about the friendly Indians showing the dumb pale-faces how to put a dead fish in the hole with their corn seed. The one about the hard lessons of communism learned by the pilgrims? You know – the one never told to “the children” these days:

          ****

          The official story has the pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620-21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The Pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

          The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.

          The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hardworking or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

          In his ‘History of Plymouth Plantation,’ the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years, because they refused to work in the fields. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.”

          In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, “all had their hungry bellies filled,” but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first “Thanksgiving” was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

          But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

          What happened?

          After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

          This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take out only what he needed.

          This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that are most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

          To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of famines.

          Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609-10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from five-hundred to sixty.

          Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614, Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.” He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

          Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that the annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863, Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

          Thus the real reason for Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.
          * * * * *

          This article originally appeared in The Free Market, November 1985.
          http://mises.org/daily/336

          • I’m eternally grateful to my father, who told us at length the correct Thanksgiving story before we tucked into the turkey every November.

            Thanks for the long version Eric and the link–those are priority bookmarks!

          • Dear Eric,

            Amen to that!

            Marxists insist that until Lenin and Mao communism had never been tried before.

            Nonsense. Communism has been tried repeatedly throughout history. They just never called it that.

      • Hi Eric,

        With respect, the moral issue is neither simple, nor properly demonstrated by your example. Let me explain. Twenty years ago, while walking through a park at night, I was robbed at gunpoint. Luckily, I survived the encounter. Yesterday, while vacationing, I bumped into the same robber. I approached him and insisted that he make restitution to me for the theft of twenty years ago. He responded, “But, good sir, the money I stole from you twenty years ago has long been spent. If I reimburse you today, you will be just as guilty of theft as I. You see, all of the money I have today has been taken from others, and you have no more right to it than I. Even if I were willing, do you really wish to sully your morals by accepting restitution from the likes of me?”

        Initially, I was flummoxed by the seeming logic of his statement, but I quickly recovered. I then responded: “the fact that you continue to steal from others, many of whom are entirely innocent, in no way negates my right to seek and accept restitution from you. It is true that you owe restitution to all you have stolen from, but that has no bearing on my claim against you.”

        There is an unfortunate tendency among some, otherwise excellent, libertarian theorists to insist that libertarians have a positive obligation to refuse any compensation from the State. Many invoke a legitimate principle to bolster their argument, but then apply the principle incorrectly or arbitrarily. For instance, Wendy McCelroy argued, in the “Third Rail of Libertarianism”, that accepting a government job was, in all instances, a violation of a libertarian principle; specifically, that it is immoral to accept stolen money in compensation for one’s labor.

        Sounds good, right? But, it falls apart when applied to the reality of a statist society. Applying this principle non-arbitrarily I, as a self-employed person, would be barred from accepting compensation from any government employee, or from any person working for a private business that accepted government contracts or, etc… Insisting, falsely, that a “bright line distinction” exists between accepting a government job and accepting money from a beneficiary of government theft does not resolve the conundrum.

        Likewise, in Eric’s example above, he invokes a correct principle: “person A, if stolen from by person B, does not have the right to steal from person C, to recoup his loss from the theft of person B”, but applies it incorrectly. Eric asserts that, if one accepts social security, one is stealing from “person C”, albeit indirectly. However, as explained by my original example, this is false. In addition, Eric’s example implies that one has no right to be compensated for a theft, if it harms an innocent victim. But, this is also not true. Imagine that my bicycle is stolen. The thief then sells my (beautiful) bicycle to Brent. Further imagine that Brent believes the sale is legitimate, making him entirely innocent. Nevertheless, if I discover that Brent is in possession of my bicycle, I have every right to demand it back. If I take back my bicycle, I am not stealing from Brent.

        The State has forcefully intruded into every aspect of our lives. Imposing false, positive moral obligations on libertarians represents a capitulation to the State, not a repudiation of it.

        Jeremy

        • Hi Jeremy,

          The problem with your argument, as I see it, is this:

          The robber in your example is the actual individual who robbed you 20 years prior. Therefore, you are holding the actual robber accountable.

          Have I robbed you?

          If I have not, then by what right do you rob me?

          Social Security makes us all victims, I agree. But does that entitle us to victimize? It seems to me to be a dangerous thing to justify dipping’s one beak this way. It strikes me as exactly what they want.

          I understand it is a hard thing financially for many people – me included – to say “no thanks” to Social Security “benefits” when we have been robbed for our entire working lives and said “benefits” would greatly ease our retirement years.

          I hope I will have guts enough to have no part of it, myself.

          • “Have I robbed you?
            If I have not, then by what right do you rob me? ”
            This is a conundrum, but I am not robbing you – it is the gunvermin. Of course we all know the gunvermin is robbing us all, but at this point we have no control over that. We are not initiating force against the gunvermin to return some of what they have stolen from us.
            I can see people wrestling with this issue in their consciences and coming down on either side. I am not sure there is one right or wrong answer.

            • Dear Phil,

              I agree.

              I say this not to rationalize taking social security.

              The fact is, even though I “qualified” years ago, I have yet to take a dime.

              I think there is a moral case to be made for considering it reparations.

              • Hi Bevin,

                It makes me uneasy because I see it as rationalizing participation in what it is – as I see it – an immoral activity. Maybe I am being too rigid, too doctrinaire… but if we can countenance taking SS “benefits” then why not also other government “benefits”? Why are any government benefits immoral… since we all “paid in” (via taxes)?

                Where does it end? How do we draw a principled line? On what basis?

                • Dear Eric,

                  One argument that made some sense to me, assuming it was advanced sincerely of course, was that libertarians taking it as reparations would help bring down the whole corrupt system sooner.

                • Dear Eric,

                  Consider this.

                  Suppose some hero cops flagrantly violated your rights, but the criminal courts awarded you restitution.

                  Would you refuse to take it?

                  Even though it would in fact be out of my pocket, I would not blame you for taking it.

                  Same with IRS extortion.

                  • That’s a very strong point, Bevin.

                    I don’t condemn people for accepting SS. However, I do argue that if we’re serious about wanting a future society built on the premise that initiating aggression is a moral wrong, we should reject all the proverbial fruit of the poisoned tree, even if it means we draw the short stick.

                    Your example is powerful because the victim is morally entitled to restitution. But is he morally entitled to accept it when it does not come out of the hide of the individual who actually did the harm but instead out of the hides of people who had nothing to do with the harm caused?

                    It is understandable to not want to be the one left holding the bag. But, sometimes, that’s necessary in the same way that – to win a pitched battle – some of the men are going to have to take a bullet in order that their fellows may carry the day.

                    • Eric – “But is he morally entitled to accept it when it does not come out of the hide of the individual who actually did the harm…..”

                      If you (the public) have accepted the principal (and practice) of government theft of your and others wealth, you must accept that you ARE part of the racketeering organization known as government. Supporting the system makes one complicit.

                      This is a separate issue to me – “….but instead out of the hides of people who had nothing to do with the harm caused? ”

                      Those not supporting the system lose nothing.

                    • Dear Eric,

                      The irony is that I have known this argument just as long as I have known the opposite argument, but still can’t make up my mind which is the more persuasive.

                      Here’s one Objectivist explaining Ayn Rand’s position on SS.

                      One may disagree with it, but given Rand’s fanatical pursuit of intellectual consistency, I believe it was a sincere position.

                      Rand’s failure to see the inconsistency in minarchism was I believe a blind spot, and not “hypocrisy”.

                      Precisely because Rand views welfare programs like Social Security as legalized plunder, she thinks the only condition under which it is moral to collect Social Security is if one “regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism” (emphasis hers). The seeming contradiction that only the opponent of Social Security has the moral right to collect it dissolves, she argues, once you recognize the crucial difference between the voluntary and the coerced.

                      Social Security is not voluntary. Your participation is forced through payroll taxes, with no choice to opt out even if you think the program harmful to your interests. If you consider such forced “participation” unjust, as Rand does, the harm inflicted on you would only be compounded if your announcement of the program’s injustice precludes you from collecting Social Security.

                      This being said, your moral integrity does require that you view the funds only as (partial) restitution for all that has been taken from you by such welfare schemes and that you continue, sincerely, to oppose the welfare state.

                      In contrast, the advocate of Social Security on Rand’s view is not the victim but the supporter of legalized plunder, whether he realizes it or not. This fact morally disqualifies him from accepting the spoils “redistributed” by the welfare state.

                      Rand’s position on the welfare state is no doubt controversial. But for critics to dismiss it as hypocrisy is a confession of ignorance or worse.

                      Unfortunately, there exists a long history of Rand’s opponents distorting her positions to attack straw men. With Rand now so prominent in our national debate, let’s try to raise the level of conversation and discuss her actual arguments.

                    • An old friend from SoCal just emailed me this:

                      Well Guys this is another one for the books!

                      I THINK THIS LADY IS PISSED?
                      If you are over 50, you need to read this. If not, don’t bother, you are already screwed.

                      Alan Simpson, the Senator from Wyoming calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared “Social Security ” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats. Here’s a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana … I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!

                      “Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight!!!
                      1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole (tit) for FIFTY YEARS.

                      2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

                      3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

                      4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and “your ilk” pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age, 67. NOW, you and your “shill commission” are proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

                      5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now “you morons” propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because “you idiots” mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal our money from Medicare to pay the bills.

                      6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you “incompetent bastards” spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.
                      To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” to your incompetence.

                      Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU:

                      1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

                      2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

                      3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

                      4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

                      It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcase thieves who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.

                      And for what? Votes and your job and retirement security at our expense, you lunk-headed, leech. That’s right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic, political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it. And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

                      P.S. And stop calling Social Security benefits “entitlements”. WHAT AN INSULT!!!!

                      I have been paying in to the SS system for 45 years “It’s my money”-give it back to me the way the system was designed and stop patting yourself on the back like you are being generous by doling out these monthly checks .

                    • Bevin, great comment. Career pols get quite literally hundreds of millions in countless ways to make sure they and theirs are quite simply above the rest of humanity in every way monetarily and powerfully, keeping it all in the family(sic). I’m going to steal this. It’s simply too good to not pass to everyone you know. Thanks a bunch.

                    • Dear Bevin,

                      Thanks for posting the rant, very fun. However, she repeats one of the most pernicious lies about SS (endlessly promulgated by pols and dishonest court economists like Paul Krugman).

                      3. “My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades.”

                      SS payments have always gone into the general fund and then been “tucked away” via the absurdity of “buying” treasury bonds. The trust fund has never been anything but a bunch of GovCo IOU’s to itself. It has never earned interest, the interest “paid” has always been merely an accounting trick.

                      http://fee.org/freeman/the-myth-of-the-social-security-trust-fund/

                      Jeremy

                    • Dear 8sm,

                      I thought so too.

                      My friend once went to prison to protest taxation. He’s definitely hardcore.

                      I’ll let him know I posted the letter here at EP Autos, and point to your comment as well.

                • eric, this “conundrum” isn’t a new thing. I’ve known lots of folks who wanted no part of it. When you lose your ability to make enough money to live, it’s either starve or die of some very preventable cause, or take the money.

                  This was thought out in detail long before we were born. Like Bevin, I could be “taking” but just can’t bring myself around to it. But wait till I can’t do for myself in the jobplace. I’m guessing it will be an ounce of 6 shot or applying for benefits. I hope that decision is many years away although my genetic history doesn’t point to many years…..or months.

                  Of course ridding ourselves of a huge tax load would go a long way to stay out of the system.

                  The beginning of the solution in Erne Lewis’ An Act of Self Defense was accomplishing what TJ endeavored before the Con was written, installing term limits so that 98% of incumbents aren’t re-elected. It’s a good book BTW.

          • Hi Eric, Bevin, PTB and Eight,
            I enjoyed reading your thoughtful responses.

            Eric-
            Imagine that twenty years ago I was robbed by a member of the Cosa Nostra mafia. Today, for some reason, I am in a position to demand restitution from the current head of that institution. The person that actually robbed me is long dead. This mafia obtains a large part of its’ revenue through aggression (not as bad as GovCo which obtains all of its’ revenue through aggression). I know that the restitution I receive derives mainly from innocent victims of aggression. Even though the actual person who robbed me is dead, and the the institution he worked for continues to rob from people, I am still entitled to restitution because I did not steal from any of these victims.

            I understand your reluctance to be involved with such an immoral institution. However, the slippery slope argument you present cuts both ways. Is it legitimate that others be forced to subsidize my decision to have children, own a house, send my children to college, etc… Of course not. But, is a libertarian really morally barred from mitigating his tax burden through these obviously immoral subsidy programs?

            Bevin –
            The starve the beast theory advocated by Walter Block and others is, as AnCap51 has pointed out, absurd in an era of fiat money. However, it is equally absurd to believe that accepting SS, tax credits, etc… directly harms anyone. The theft from people has already taken place and will continue regardless of your decision to accept or eschew some form of restitution from GovCo.

            I like your analogy. Question, if a one time extreme violation of your rights by an employee of GovCo deserves compensation, why not a lifetime of theft?

            PTB –
            I agree. If I accept SS or tax credits, etc…, I have not robbed anyone, GovCo has. I also agree that the question is difficult and that there are no right and wrong answers on a personal level. However, I believe that libertarians who assert that accepting compensation from the State are necessarily violating the NAP are making a category error.

            Me2 –
            Short of a hermit who completely withdraws from society, everyone is involved, to some degree, with the “system”. I don’t know what you mean by saying “those not supporting the system, lose nothing”. Other than the theoretical hermit, everyone “supports the system”. Do you use frn’s? Do you use the roads? If so, then you support the “system”. Drawing arbitrary lines in ones head to rationalize some involvement is psychologically powerful, but not theoretically valid.

            Finally, why do I care? Libertarians who assert that we have a duty to refuse compensation from the State believe that their arguments are founded in the proper application of the NAP. I believe that they are wrong. In fact, their arguments are based in two profoundly unlibertarian concepts: “indirect” harm and positive moral obligations. It is arguable that accepting compensation from the State may perpetuate the existence of that immoral institution (of course, it may also hasten its’ demise). But it is not true that accepting compensation directly harms anyone. The harm has happened, and will continue to happen, no matter my decision on SS. Thus the harm is indirect, abstract and theoretical. If, as libertarians we accept this concept, then we can’t complain about drug laws, drunk driving laws, speed limits, etc… If I choose to use drugs, I am supporting a “system” that causes enormous harm to innocent people. The cartels routinely engage in theft, torture and murder to achieve their goals. Is one responsible for that because one chooses to use drugs? Of course not. However, drug warriors believe that you are; and thus you have a moral obligation to “society” to refrain from drug use.

            The flawed premise of “indirect harm” leads to embracing the flawed concept of positive moral obligations. Most libertarians that I know would, if possible, intervene to prevent direct harm being done to another. However, no libertarian worth his salt would argue that we have a positive moral obligation to do so. But, some libertarians will argue that we have a positive moral obligation to refuse compensation from the State due to concerns about abstract, indirect and theoretical harm. It makes no sense.

            Again, the State has forcibly inserted itself into every aspect of our lives. The degree to which we “cooperate” should not be based on arbitrary feelings or flawed concepts like indirect harm and positive moral obligations. That being said, there is obviously nothing wrong with libertarians who choose as little involvement as possible. I object only to false moral claims being made about this decision. I have been self-employed since I was 19 years old. I have never held a government job and doubt that I ever will. However, many of my customers work for GovCo and I have willingly accepted their money over the years. I do not consider this a violation of the NAP.

            It is tragic that libertarians, we who possess the most accurate and least blinkered view of the nature of the State, should willingly limit our options and our self interest due to the misapplication of libertarian principles. Of course, we do need principles. To me, the principle with respect to the State is: “will I cause direct and illegitimate harm to another by pursuing this action?”

            Jeremy

            • Dear Jeremy,

              Very thoughtful analysis.

              As I noted before, even though I have yet to take SS as restitution, I believe it is a valid argument, and would not condemn anyone else who did, providing they genuinely view it as restitution.

              Thanks for chiming in on that.

    • Moe, it’s hard to admit…and harder still to do the right thing about it.

      But here’s the deal–My friend, you’ve been HAD!

      It’s up to you now to search your conscience and do the right thing.

      And here’s the essence of this particular evil–collectivism. Collectivism makes everyone everyone else’s keeper, jailer, robber, and donor at once. It’s the most UN-civilizing force in the world because it brings out the most venal, vile, corrupting, disharmonizing and cacophonous behavior in its victims.

      You’re rightly pissed. Nobody likes being robbed; and we like being conned even less.

      But it’s not my fault you got conned and robbed. And I sure as hell will resent it if YOU are one of the goddamned ungrateful thieves benefiting from my hard work!

      So don’t. Go now, and sin no more.

    • My opinion: Each one of us is responsible for our own retirement (and health care). Morally, we should also feel obligated to help family members in need, such as elderly parents (assuming they’re not Maggots and “did for us” when we were young, etc.). But no one should be forced – literally, at gunpoint – to give money they earned and which ought to provide for their own financial security and the financial security of their family – for the support of total strangers, to whom they own nothing except goodwill.

      That’s what a Libertarian would say. Unfortunately, Paul doesn’t seem to be one.

      • I’m stunned he’s fallen so far from the tree, especially considering the mighty boughs of that particular tree.

        Does he believe his own bullshit? Does he think that by cozying to the establishment he’ll get his Big Chance, that they’ll accept him and throw him a little opportunity like a Friskies Treat for a Good Little Doggie-Poo?

        And how can he be this naive? His dad knows well about Bohemian Grove; how the real PTB won’t even entertain you for a higher office until you’ve “proven” yourself “reliable”; for starters, say, a little underage action on camera.

        Hey Rand–it’s the Mafia*, you idiot, do you understand the terms of being a “made man”?

        * My sincere apologies to any Mafiosi reading this; I use your honorable organization only as a comparative device, but understand fully how unfair it is to compare you to the lowest most vile creatures on earth–government.

        • Dear Meth,

          Exactly.

          You can’t pretend to one of them in the hope of changing the system from within once you get on top.

          It doesn’t work that way.

          Try it and by the time you’re anywhere near the top of the dung heap, you’ve already been corrupted beyond any hope of redemption. You’ve become the problem you set out to solve, assuming you were ever sincere in the first place.

          The movie “City Hall,” a box office flop, actually explored that specific issue reasonably well.

          The first, classic version of “All the King’s Men” did an even better job.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_King%27s_Men_%281949_film%29

          Plot

          All The King’s Men is the story of the rise of politician Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) from a rural county seat to the governor’s mansion. He first teaches himself law and becomes a lawyer, championing the local people and gaining popularity. He then decides to go into politics. Along the way he loses his innocence, and becomes as corrupt as the politicians he once fought against.

          • You are correct Bevin, but like many rules there are exceptions. JFK made it to the presidency and then something changed him. He started to do things, apparently the right things. Not perfect by any means, but enough of the right things that drastic action was taken to put them back on the desired course.

            • “JFK made it to the presidency and then something changed him. He started to do things, apparently the right things.”

              I’ve read some about JFK and three things I’ve come across in my reading strike me as potentially relevant to the above:

              * He was – apparently – resentful of his father’s machinations; he did not especially want to be president.
              * He was far more ill than many people realize. He probably only had a few years to live, regardless.
              * Because of his illness, and his previous near-death-experiences, he was fatalistic about death.

              He may have just decided – fuck’ em. I’m gonna do what I want to do.

              And the rest, as they say, is history.

          • @eric:

            I think you’re spot on.

            Also, JFK recognized the Fed scam–and issued something like $20Billion of U.S. Notes (not FRN’s) backed by silver. I intend to buy one when I find one.

            Guess what order Johnson signed on the plane to Dallas? That’s right–an order rescinding JFK’s silver notes.

            Fiat debt-money is the PTB cornerstone–remove it and the whole edifice of evil collapses.

        • The son is often not the father (and the reverse, also).

          I suspect Rand has tasted celebrity – and power – and likes the taste.

          I never met his father, but he seems to not give a fig about either. And that, to me, was a big part of his appeal.

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