Prolific libertarian writer Jacob Hornberger of The Future of Freedom Foundation recently took a reader to task for calling Social Security “a savings-retirement-insurance program.” Hornberger insisted “The reality is that Social Security is just another welfare program.” If that’s true it’s not the real problem, it’s just the symptom of even deeper problems.
All governments squat on the three-legged stool of coercion, intimidation and fraud. Ignoring that fact makes all other discussions moot. Whether some people choose to call the hoaxes that governments perpetrate “welfare” or “insurance” the reality is that both are the result of mandatory government redistribution that forcibly takes money from people who have earned it and gives it to people who have not earned it.
Many believe it when Benefits.gov calls Social Security “Retirement Insurance Benefits” and when the ssa.gov FAQ page openly trumpets “Medicare as “our country’s health insurance program.” Based on that, seniors insist that they have every right to get “their own money” back because they were forced to pay into it.
But calling these operations “insurance” is a classic bait-and-switch scam. That’s why people like Hornberger say “Social Security Is Definitely Welfare” and maintain that “their own money” is long gone, already spent by The State, and that the money they’re getting is actually being extracted from struggling younger generations, including the elderly’s own children and grandchildren.
This last point has prompted some to declare that SS and Medicare is a dirty game of “Generational Welfare” pitting young workers against older retirees. But they’re wrong. The old are not stealing from the young; it’s government that is stealing equally from everyone, young and old and everyone else, for the benefit of the endlessly ravenous greed of the political-corpopratist-bankster psychopaths who rule us.
The State steals from everyone whether the stealing is called a tax, toll, fine, fee, levy, duty, tariff, excise, impost, social welfare program, retirement insurance or some other involuntary extraction. And on top of all of the other taxes is the big one: inflation through the massive printing of fiat paper called “money.”
If retirees knew the truth about “getting their own money back” they wouldn’t want it. This is 2016. Speaking in rounded off numbers people who started their working careers in 1971 at age 20 are now ready to start collecting their SS checks (welfare, insurance, benefits, whatever) at age 65. In 1971 the US average for a loaf of white bread was 25 cents. Today that same loaf costs about $1.42. The Federal Reserve stole 82.39% of their purchasing power during their working lives, perhaps more or less depending on the yardstick used. And you can bet your bottom Federal Reserve Note that the price of yardsticks have gone up too.
So literally “Getting Their Own Money Back” would barely make them a couple of ketchup sandwiches – assuming they can afford the ketchup. How’s that for government’s promise of a “comfortable retirement?”
Hornberger and all other libertarians need to deal with some issues:
1. Skip the entertaining but otherwise pointless welfare/insurance definitional debate,
2. Stop playing the government’s phony long con of “Old Versus Young” and recognize the “Old and Young Versus Government” reality,
3. Explain why it’s okay for libertarians to demand restitution from non-government armed robbers but there’s nothing to do but shrug and whimper “My money is long gone and I can’t get it back” when it’s government doing the mugging,
4. Go directly for the jugular vein: The State. If you’re getting ripped off your entire working life does it really matter if the thug who’s doing the rip-off is using a semiauto or a revolver, a switchblade or a sling blade, a welfare program or an insurance plan? A rip-off is a rip-off no matter what government thugs call it. The solution shouldn’t be about quibbling over the definitions; it should be about confronting the thug.
And by the way Hornberger, stop insulting seniors by calling them victims of “self-deception;” this is clearly a case of government-deception. Don’t blame the victims for being victimized.