Sunday, November 11, 2007

Obama wants more for SS.

Barack Obama stated on Nov. 11th that he would raise the amount of income that would be subjected to the Social Security tax, if he were elected president. On the surface, this doesn't seem to be a bad idea. After all, you eventually get it back, right?

The problem with this idea is twofold. One, the whole point of this is to make sure that there isn't a cut in benefits to existing seniors. Well, if you always get back what you pay in, why isn't there enough money to pay the existing seniors now? That's largely because the money isn't separated out - not only from person A to person B, but Social Security from the rest of government revenues. So if there is a shortfall now because of mismanagement, why won't there be a shortfall in the future despite any increases that happen now? And if the Feds have been raiding the money that is supposedly targeted for Social Security benefits on and off for 30 years in order to pay for some of their "important programs", why can't they simply just lay off the "important programs" so as to begin paying off what they took from the program. Why now take from us to make up for their short-sightedness?

Two, what makes Social Security such a fantastic idea anyway? According to research by the Heritage Foundation, the rate of return on monies paid into the system from a two-income household with children is 1.23%. Compare that to the fact that the historical rate of return on the general stock market over the past 50 years range anywhere from 5-8% depending on who you ask. Even on the low end, it is more than a 3:1 difference in the public markets to what the Federal Government is offering. Worse still, the Heritage Foundation report states that African-American males may actually pay more into the system than when they will get back. Does Mr. Obama know that statistic?

Obama said "some tough decisions will be in order because Social Security is the most important social program in the country." I wonder how often it has occurred to him that maybe the fact that a social program is that important to the country is, in and of itself, an alarming problem?

One last note on what Obama said on the subject. He was paraphrasing his "friend" (I don't know whose term that is), Warren Buffet by saying "and he has said, and I think a lot of us who have been fortunate are willing to pay a little bit more to make sure that a senior citizen who is struggling to deal with rising property taxes or rising heating bills, that they've got the coverage that they need." [emphasis mine] So the "fortunate" should help those that "need"? That sounds strangely familiar. May I quote the noted wellspring of modern communism, Karl Marx?

"From each according to his ability,
to each according to his need."

Since success is not the lottery that liberals such as Obama purport it to be, "fortunate" doesn't seem to work there. Swap "fortunate" out for "working their asses off" and you have a completely different character to the sentence. But not everybody who listens to Obama et al are deft enough in dealing with political lingo to catch that. It really only happens for those of us who are...

... thinking between the lines.

No comments: