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September 24, 2011

NRO Ponzi Debate [ArthurK]

There's been a flurry of posts on NRO's The Corner about Social Security as a Ponzi scheme in the last few days. This post seems definitive. I'll emphasize one paragraph but the entire note is worth reading.

Furthermore, the real objective of Social Security was not to set up a retirement insurance program. It was to lay the foundation for a full-blown entitlement state, complete with socialized healthcare. The original plan included a Medicare component, which was abandoned because FDR realized it would jeopardize passage of social security. (The push on Medicare, as I’ve recounted before, was renewed immediately after passage - although it took 30 years, due to deep opposition from the public and the medical profession.) As Gov. Perry points out in his book, while feigning to address a "crisis," Social Security (like Obamacare) collected the taxes ("contributions") for several years (from 1935 to 1942) before any benefits were paid out; and the eligibility age was pegged at 62 even though life expectancy was then 60. The goal was not to ensure a decent retirement for "beneficiaries"; it was to erect - in incremental stealth - an entitlement state that the public would never have supported if Progressives had been forthright about their ambitions. Social security was the foot in the door.

And Obamacare is the 3rd foot* (if you call Medicare the 2nd). That's why it's so critical to repeal it not reform it or tinker around the edges or try and make it work. I'm sure there are more than a few Repubs who, if they were President, would view Obamacare as a project - something that the Dems screwed up but -I- can make work! We can do two things. Either keep those guys away from the White House OR make it politically impossible for them to do anything but repeal it. Don't forget that Friedman quote...

*Some sort of multi-limbed commie monster must be lurking outside that door!

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office. - Milton Friedman

That second option is more reliable that trying to navigate the minefield of figuring out which pol is conservative and which talks conservative. For decades the political climate has been moving the US towards a Euro-style social democracy. Picking conservative pols delays and stalls that move but doesn't reverse it.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:11 PM

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