Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Disturbing: Rand Paul Calls for Means Testing and Raising the Retirement Age to "Save" Social Security

It is no secret that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. There is no "trust fund." The SS fund has a bunch of IOUs from the federal government. The federal government has no savings to back up those IOUs. It can only payoff the IOUs by taxing Americans or by borrowing (which means the Federal Reserve printing up money to buy Treasury debt).

The amount of money that the Treasury will need to raise each year to pay to the Social Security Trust Fund will explode in the not too distant future. The Social Security Administration admits this:
Social Security’s expenditures exceeded non-interest income in 2010 and 2011, the first such occurrences since 1983, and the Trustees estimate that these expenditures will remain greater than non-interest income throughout the 75-year projection period. The deficit of non-interest income relative to expenditures was about $49 billion in 2010 and $45 billion in 2011, and the Trustees project that it will average about $66 billion between 2012 and 2018 before rising steeply
And things only get worse down the road, even the phony IOUs run out. SSA again:
After 2020, Treasury will redeem trust fund assets in amounts that exceed interest earnings until exhaustion of trust fund reserves in 2033, three years earlier than projected last year. Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2086.
The system is clearly on the edge of collapse. It needs to be junked and individuals need to once again become responsible for their own savings and retirement plans. SS is about nothing but screwing the average forced-participant, with the Washington D.C. bureaucracy spending the money put into the program.

Rand Paul, however, has a different view. He wants to save the program that does nothing but distort retirement funds and drive them through the D.C. bureaucracy. How does he want to "save" Social Security? By raising the retirement age and means testing SS. In other words, he wants to decrease payouts  and backdoor increase the tax burden.

In the clip below[starts at 2:50 mark], Rand told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday that if Obama took steps to deal with entitlements, such as by instituting the SS plan Rand outlined, that Obama could go down in history as a great leader. Yikes.



This is simply shocking. It points once again to the likelihood that the role that Rand is playing is a role that will dilute the libertarian message. It's not the first time this has occurred. Ronald Reagan played that role. While talking small government, government grew and grew under Reagan's watch. Indeed, during his presidency, Reagan "fixed" SS by doing something similar to what Rand proposes. Murray Rothbard explained:
We should also say a word about another of Ronnie’s great "libertarian" accomplishments. In the late 1970’s, it became obvious even to the man in the street that the Social Security System was bankrupt, kaput. For the first time in fifty years there was an excellent chance to get rid of the biggest single racket that acts as a gigantic Ponzi scheme to fleece the American taxpayer. Instead, Reagan brought in the famed "Randian libertarian" Alan Greenspan, who served as head of a bipartisan commission, performing the miracle of "saving Social Security" and the masses have rested content with the system ever since. How did he "save" it? By raising taxes (oops "premiums"), of course; by that route, the government can "save" any program. (Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket.)

The way Reagan-Greenspan saved Social Security is a superb paradigm of Reagan’s historical function in all areas of his realm; he acted to bail out statism and to co-opt and defuse any libertarian or quasi-libertarian opposition. The method worked brilliantly, for Social Security and other programs.
Read that last paragraph again. How does that not apply to the developing role being played by Rand? He wants to "save" SS. He wants to institute some type of background check for frequent flyers. He wants to "end" foreign aid, but not for all countries at the same time. All the while, he sucks in more and more of the libertarian movement. Not good.

19 comments:

  1. "How did he "save" it? By raising taxes (oops "premiums"), of course; by that route, the government can "save" any program."

    Rothbard had a wonderful way of exposing the absurdities of the state in simple, easy to comprehend, terms. This was worth an audible laugh.

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  2. As a joke to myself, I wrote my worthless congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen of NJ, asking him if I could opt out of Social Security and Medicare; and asking for no benefits when I became eligible (they won't exist if I live to 62).

    For a couple years after, all I got was his stupid flyers in the mail. Rand is not much better than Frelinghuysen. In some respects, he's even worse. He is a true wolf in sheep's clothing, put forth to fool middle-aged Tea Partiers who think this con-game can go on forever.

    This is among the reasons I never joined the Tea Party. They are not radical enough, and I doubt I could have much influence. They don't want to phase out welfare, or abolish public schools. Many of them are terrified that Obama is going to institute Sharia law in this country. WTF?

    Many of them are undoubtedly ignorant on the Fed, foreign aid, and welfare to immigrants. End it all, and then phase out domestic welfare. They are probably better on civil and personal liberties.

    If families, communities and churches watch their fellows go without food (because the moral responsiblity will be transferred from government to them), it will reveal what kind of country we really are. I don't think this would happen. Americans are very generous, and they'd do a much better job of helping others when they pay far less taxes.

    If Krugman will ever debate Murphy, that would help New York's poor a little bit too. Maybe they'll get to eat homemade goods and 16 oz sodas someday.

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  3. Who was it that gave him the moniker Paul the Lesser? That's all I can ever think about when I hear him speak.

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  4. It's clear you're not much a fan of Rand Paul. You smell a scandal nearly every time he speaks. Yet what you're doing here is dishonest. Rand Paul is simply proposing cutting benefits as a starting measure at ameliorating the system's drag on the government's balance sheet. Which is complete common sense. If you ask Rand Paul what his ideal scenario would be for Social Security, I'd bet he agrees the system should be scrapped altogether. But if that's his actual policy prescription at this point, he will never get anywhere. There is a lot to learn from his dad's many unsuccessful presidential campaigns; it appears he's learned that no reform is possible if you're standing on the sidelines. He is clearly the most libertarian member of Congress; he's the best chance for libertarianism in 2016 -- bashing him for being insufficiently pure day-in and day-out does no favors to the larger liberty movement.

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    1. Rand Paul is a conservative. He has never pretended to be anything but a conservative. Where do people get the inclination that he is anything remotely libertarian? EPJ is doing a great service by pointing out a politician's flaws BEFORE he gets any real power (which looks probable in the case of Rand).

      There is no way that our system (economic and governing)will survive. Systems that are not sustainable will not sustain themselves forever. There are too many people who have pulled the wool over their eyes for far too long. The only way any of this nonsense will end will be in a total systemic collapse. Only then will people stop deluding themselves with fictitious visions that a governing body of individuals, with the incentive to lie, cheat and steal, are able to provide solutions to problems of which individuals could have solved working together for their own interest and mutual gain.

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    2. exactly, this is the exactly what the the MSM should be doing asking the hard question of a candidate, instead all they do is quote the candidates bio until the now incumbent is 3/4 through their term and fucking enough things up to annoy a great number of the great and the good. 'libertarian' candidates should be held to account even more strictly than the other scumbags.

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  5. Isn't that what Ron Paul proposed? Shoring up the program for those who are dependent on it?

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    1. Ron was aiming at kicking most people off, eliminating SS taxes for people under a certain age and only keeping payments to people who had nothing else.

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    2. Your point is well taken. But he Ron) also proposed that the system be scrapped for those NOT dependent upon it.
      Now, the definition of who is NOT dependent upon the system is up for debate. If you're 60, let's say, you ARE dependent because you can't possibly save enough to replace it in the short time until retirement. If you're 40, eh, I'd say you've got time to recover. It's not fair to the 40 year old, but who said life is fair? At least he/she benefits from the coming 25 years of no SS taxes. Hell, I'd take THAT deal.

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    3. I thought Ron Paul's main thing was allowing young people the choice to pay into SS or not. The idea being that anyone with a brain wouldn't pay, and the system would eventually starve itself.

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  6. Give the government your money so they can keep it safe for you until you retire! What could possibly go wrong?

    Lysander

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  7. Again, you immolate Ron Paul by attacking Rand. Ron Paul didn't even suggest the measures Rand proposed. Ron was going to save SS by ending foreign entanglements.

    For the big picture, I agree with you about Rand, but I don't think he should be attacked for reasonable measures. If you're ever going to end SS, you'll have to lower the number of people who get the benefit to the point that their voting bloc is not so dominant as to make removing SS impossible. I'm not saying that's Rand's goal, but it has to happen nonetheless. Rand is at least moving in the right direction.

    What you also leave out about the Reagan story is the backlash they received when they proposed cutting Social Security. That was when it became known as the "third rail of politics."

    In today's "democracy," it's almost impossible to take goodies from any major voting bloc. The only way you have a chance is to divide and conquer.

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  8. I think Ron proposed anyone under 25 or some number being able to opt out. I wish we could all opt out.

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  9. Rand Paul is a statist, fascist, operative for the Neocon wing of the Republican party, and as such he will viciously turn on Libertarians who reject the use of force in the Middle-East in the coming months. The fact that this turncoat has molded himself in the guise of Ronald Reagan is no accident, he will soon use Christian Zionism as a form of Teflon to fend off serious questions of character, and use it to ensure a long life in the U.S. senate.

    This quisling Tea Party puppet will never touch the true third rail of politics which is the "Iron Dome" protecting the Medical Insurance, Hospitals, and Pharmaceutical Industries from true free market forces. Medical costs in this country have been growing at over nine percent per year for decades but all we hear from Rand Paul is total silence. The fact that medical costs will break America far sooner than Social Security is of no interest to Rand.

    Rand Paul is in love with sound of his voice droning on and on about half measures, jury rigged, and ineffectual by design contrivances to appease the ears, and dull the mind. That is the Rand we can look forward to at CPAC where he will join Campaign for Liberty's favorite, and Tea Party Quisling, Ted Cruz.

    No Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian voices will be heard at CPAC, but Rand Paul will stand in their stead. The party of Lincoln will shun it's unfortunate relations, and unite the faithful in a call for war.

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    1. OK, like he's DISPLACING some mythical libertarian presence at CPAC? Y'know libertarians, almost by definition, are not stupid. And we're not easily "led" as many erstwhile "leaders" have painfully discovered.
      And do ya think that Rand Paul DISPLACED some slam dunk libertarian candidate when he ran for the Senate from KENTUCKY!!! You think those hill folks (non dare call them "Billy") believe in Gay marriage or ending the war on drugs?
      It used to be said that the libertarian movement ate its young. I guess some things never change.

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    2. Thank you, Capn. Well said!

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    3. Capn Mike

      I think Bob Barr and Gary Johnson were pathetic third tier candidates running for the Republican nomination for President in 2008, and 2012 before deciding to slither over to the the Libertarian party. Bob Barr and Gary Johnson held views that ran counter to Libertarian ideals and were poorly equipped to articulate their views to a wide audience. Both of these candidates represented the Libertarian party poorly, and in my opinion were positioned by quasi Republican operatives like Wayne Allyn Root to blur and ultimately destroy what was left of the Libertarian party.

      By deciding to run as a Republican rather than from his true home in the libertarian party, Ron Paul again blurred and confused the branding of Libertarian ideas with the fascist soul of the Republican party. In my opinion what Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, Campaign for Liberty, and Ron Paul have done over the past 6 years is to confuse, distort, and blur the branding of what it is to be a true Libertarian for many people who are relatively new to the political process.

      In my opinion Ron Paul has been quiet at strategic points over the past 18 months because as his former aid Penny Freeman has stated in interviews, Ron never ran to win, and appears to have sold out at some point prior to the end of 2007. Rand Paul has been entrusted by the Republican hierarchy with the mission of destroying what is left of Libertarian ideals by blending them with Christian Zionism and Leo Strauss's twisted vision.

      In my opinion Christian Zionism, the Neocon Movement of Leo Strauss, and the Republican party of the past 45 years can not be reconciled with Libertarian thought in any way shape or form, and that is why Rand Paul has a ying-yang quality to his pronouncements. But I am afraid many people are far too ignorant, willfully blind, and trusting in a brand like the Paul family to ever open their minds to their own betrayal.



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  10. I'm sorry but where is Ron on all of this? Shouldn't he at least make a statement on his son's policy proposals?

    I am a Ron Paul supporter, but I must say I am growing more and more concerned that I've been had. I feel ripped off after the last election from the likes of Benton and crew. I feel ripped off from what Campaign for Liberty is becoming. I feel ripped off that Ron, the loudest spokesmen for principle I might add, is keeping zip lipped.

    One bad apple around you, ok. Two bad apples, alright. Now whole Super PACS and your son? Am I supposed to keep believing you? Where are you Ron Paul?

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  11. Ron said many years before that he was for cutting military spending in order to "shore up" the social security and Medicare. No major deviation from Rand's side here.

    And here you have an interview in which Ronh once again emphasizes how proud is he of what his son is doing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM4_CWRPyVw&feature=player_embedded

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