Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

Don’t Save Social Security


There’s a website entitled Save Our Social Security. It issues the following scary, sinister, and ominous warning:

“Powerful forces are gathering. They have prestige and wealth but they want more, and they want to take it from you. Their plan is to trick you into believing that Social Security is going broke. They say that the only cure is for you to give up what you’ve earned after years of hard work. They disguise their greed as concern: concern for the nation, concern for the future, concern for you. Don’t be fooled. They care only for themselves. They have plenty but they want more and if it makes you poor, too bad. These liars could do honest work but tricking you into surrendering your future is easier. Will Social Security be there when you need it? Not unless you fight for it.”

All that is ridiculous!

For one thing, Social Security can always be there. After all, won’t there always be young people who are working to make a living? Isn’t that where the money comes from?

So what’s the problem? All that people in their 60s and above have to do is have the government take more money from young people and redistribute it to the seniors. How can a system go broke when it depends entirely on taking money from working people?

Oh, you say that the money collected from young people might not be enough to fund the retirement lifestyle that the elderly would like to have? Well, then just impose higher taxes on young people. Just take more of their income from them.

What’s the problem?

Oh, you say that the number of young people just isn’t large enough to fund the senior’s preferred retirement lifestyle? Then, just collect a bigger portion of their income. If necessary, go all the way up 95 percent taxes on their income.

What’s the problem?

Oh, you say that working people might not like going home with only 5 percent of their income? Who cares what they don’t like? They’re just being greedy and hateful. They only care for themselves. They have plenty and they just want more. Yeah, your children, and their friends, and their generations are just a bunch of no-good liars who are trying to trick you into surrendering your nice Social Security payments.

All too many Americans simply do not wish to see the reality of Social Security. They’ve lived all their lives under myths, illusions, and delusions, mostly self-imposed. And many of them get furious when you confront them with reality. It’s easier to continue living under the myths, illusions, and delusions.

Reality: There is no Social Security fund. There never has been a fund. There never will be a fund. From the very beginning, Social Security has been just another socialistic welfare program, no different from food stamps or agricultural subsidies.

Reality: The government is not like a private business. It does not create wealth. It is also not a fountain of wealth. It does not have its own money. The only way it gets its money is by taking it away from people in the private sector.

Reality: Social Security is a straight, out-and-out, socialistic program. It’s not a coincidence that the Social Security administration has a bust of Otto von Bismarck on its website. He was known as the Iron Chancellor of Germany. He got the idea of Social Security from German socialists and then introduced it into Germany’s paternalistic, welfare-state way of life.

Reality: Social Security program is one of major factors that are heading America toward bankruptcy.

Reality: Young people are already having a terribly difficult time starting out in life, including buying a home and raising a family. Why in the world would any senior citizen desire to make life more difficult for young people, including their children and grandchildren and their friends by continuing to impose an enormous Social Security tax burden on them?

Seniors have the opportunity to do the right thing before they pass from this life. They have the opportunity to call for the repeal, not the saving, of Social Security. Many seniors don’t need the money anyway. Some will have to continue working, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, imagine the economic prosperity and job creation that would result from ending the enormous Social Security tax burden. Others will have to depend on their children or others for help.

What’s wrong with all that? Have Americans lost all their faith in the workings of a free society?

America’s experiment with socialism (as well as its experiment with military empire) has failed. America’s senior citizens should do the right thing and demand the repeal, not the reform, of Social Security. Repealing Social Security, the crown jewel of America’s welfare state, would help lead America out of its statist morass and put our nation back on the road of economic liberty, free markets, prosperity, sound money, voluntary charity, and a constitutionally limited-government republic.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.