Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Guest Post - Entitlement Mess: Who's Responsible?

Following is a guest post by Brad Puryear.

Recently, I received an email from a friend which said, in part:
Isn't Congress just wonderful! Entitlement? I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn't make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!

Congressional benefits, aka. free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that's welfare, and they have the nerve to call my retirement, an "entitlement" !!!!!!.....
The outrage is well placed and understandable, but the situation is ENTIRELY the fault of the electorate.

Where was the outrage when Congress voted to adopt baseline budgeting, which had the following effects.
    1. All taxes, regardless of what they are called, regardless what their original intent and regardless of any promises past, present or future congresses have made or will make, are simply revenue streams to the government. These taxes all go into one pool and are spent as Congress and the President sees fit to fund any and all programs, including Social Security and Medicare.
    2. There is no Social Security Trust Fund. Politicians talk about the trust fund all the time, but it is empty rhetoric devoid of meaning which is designed purely to appeal to the electorate’s base emotions. The Social Security IOU’s are also a joke! They have no meaning in a baseline budgeting system. It has as much meaning as would you were you to over spend the funds in your checking account, writing yourself an IOU to pay yourself back. Silly!
    3. Ditto Medicare!
    4. If you have failed to plan for your own retirement, both income and medical care, the best you can hope for is politicians who will chose fund these programs before they fund other programs. This will especially become important when the crap hits the proverbial fan and our government is forced to only spend what it takes in.
    5. For points 1, 2 and 3 above, before you get all morally outraged and say what I wrote is a lie, know this. The Supreme Court of the US has already ruled that the Social Security and Medicare taxes that all of us pay are simply revenue generators for the Federal Government.

    Worse, they ruled that any and all past promises with regard to these two programs carry no legal weight. In essence, none of us who have paid in to these two funds our entire working lives have a "legal" right to benefit from them at any point in our life. In fact, both programs have been entitlements since the day the Feds adopted baseline budgeting.

Those of you who think/thought privatizing the portion of the Social Security tax employees pay is/was a bad idea, what say you now? Would you rather have an account worth half a million dollars at retirement that is in your name and out of the reach of politicians, or an entitlement transfer of wealth payment from the biggest Ponzi scheme ever perpetrated on mankind? (The problem with Ponzi schemes and, yes, Social Security is that eventually you run out of money from rube A to pay rube B!)

What our politicians have done is a moral outrage and were they private citizens doing same, would have found their butts in jail. There is, however, a difference between what is moral and what is legal. I'm sorry to tell you that Congress could vote to stop paying Social Security benefits tomorrow and your only two recourses would be to vote the bastards out of office or pick up arms, march on DC and by force, take back control and hold a Constitutional Convention. Sadly, the courts are not on our side and offer no justice on this front!

Finally, a word about the mentality that brought this about.

In my opinion, anyone who thinks they have a right to someone else’s production is to blame for the mess we are in. If you think the rich don't pay their fair share, you're part of the problem. If you think we are morally obligated to administer welfare programs, you're part of the problem. If you think we are entitled to own homes regardless of our ability to pay for them, you're part of the problem. If you think we are obligated to send money to other governments, you're part of the problem. If you think we are entitled to public education, you're part of the problem. If you think the government should fund research in to anything, regardless what it is, you are part of the problem.

Now that I've likely gored at least one of your sacred cows, let me explain.

It is pretty universally accepted in Western Democracies that slavery is an immoral and unjust system for engaging in commerce. One definition of slavery is person A owning the production of person B’s labor without person B’s consent or agreement. In most cases, especially with state sponsored slavery, slavery leaves the victims virtually defenseless and helpless to do anything about it that wouldn’t likely lead to their death. When person A owns person B’s labor, they in fact own person B’s life energy!

I think we can all agree that this is an immoral system that should not be tolerated?

When you enter into a contract with an employer, you agree to give up some percent of your time for some level of compensation, usually in the form of cash. Your time is an investment of your life energy, which as noted above, no person other you has a right to without your consent. Therefore, the cash you earn is a proxy for your life energy.

When the government takes your cash and transfers it to another, they have in fact transferred some portion of your life energy to another human being without your consent! No matter how uncomfortable you might be feeling right now; this immoral system of transfer of your life energy makes you a slave.

Since we have already established the fact that slavery is immoral and unethical, all of the programs listed above, and most of everything else our government currently engages in is immoral as it is, in fact, slavery.

I know this position won't be popular; if it were we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. That being said, I would gladly entertain any serious challenges to my reasoning.

1 comment:

David Beatty said...

No arguement here.