It is quite evident that Democrats are content with their 'don't ask don't tell' policy concerning Social Security. They are happy to continue bankrupting this nation, while remaining silent regarding the impending implosion of Social Security. Republicans are justified in their vocal concern over the program's insolvency and their calls for reform. However, it is extremely disconcerting to hear many conservatives support the idea of digging deeper into this unconstitutional confiscatory program. Many conservatives have adulated the recommendations of the debt commission because they “address” the Social Security crisis. The problem is that they address the insolvency by implementing one or more of the following changes; cutting benefits, raising payroll taxes, raising the exemption limit, means testing benefits, and (most egregiously) raising the retirement age. The need and desire to address a policy problem is no excuse for proposing the wrong solution.
On Sunday, Lindsey Graham made headlines by asserting that he would not support raising the debt ceiling until the long term fiscal problems are solved. Sounds conservative, right? Think again. Here is the full quote from Lindsey Graham on Meet the Press:
“I will not vote for the debt ceiling increase until I see a plan in place that will deal with our long-term debt obligations, starting with Social Security, a real bipartisan effort to make sure that Social Security stays solvent, adjusting the age, looking at means tests for benefits. On the spending side, I’m not going to vote for debt ceiling increase unless we go back to 2008 spending levels, cutting discretionary spending.” (emphasis added)
So, now we have Republicans openly suggesting that we perpetuate a Democrat disaster by means testing the hard earned retirement money that Americans toiled for their entire life. Worse yet, if Graham has his way, we will be working until we are 70 in order to receive our money. This is the ultimate application of socialist theory. They mandate that all workers (and employers) give a large percentage of their earnings to the government (on top of means tested income taxes). Then, they have the power to keep extending the retirement age at which we can receive our poorly invested capital. Furthermore, if the worker dies before he receives all or part of his money; the government eats the balance, thus denying his family the inheritance of the fruits of his labor. Finally, even after receiving his retirement money, it is ravaged by the means tested taxation. If this is not socialism; what is?
Liberals have always defended the constitutionality of Social Security by calling it an insurance program. Their willingness to means test the earnings incontrovertibly proves that Social Security is a gratuitous tax that is not covered under the 16th amendment.
The only conservative solution that is constitutional, fair, and economically prudent, is the gradual privatization of Social Security. Instead, we have Republicans (including those who endorsed the debt commission) who support the further nationalization of people's wealth under the guise of "entitlement reform". Imagine a situation in which Obama Care would go bankrupt in twenty years, and Republicans would then suggest that we pump more money into the unconstitutional program. Would we praise those 'reforms' as conservative entitlement solvency initiatives?
The objective is not to make a Democrat-run program solvent. Our objective vis-à-vis entitlement reform should be focused on returning the wealth to the American worker and tax payer by promoting more liberty and prosperity. Many conservative economists have suggested ways of achieving budget solvency through partial privatization. Liberals and many Republicans retort that there still would not be enough funds left to meet our obligations. Frankly, I don't care if this plan in itself would achieve solvency. We must honor our obligations to those who already paid into the system, and provide the younger generation with a way out of this socialist dead-end. If it turns out that we need another few hundred billion to pay out the remaining obligations, there is no lack of unconstitutional government programs and expenditures that we can and must cut in order to pay our obligations. Again, the objective should be to cut spending in order to oversee a phase-out of Social Security (as it is currently constituted), not to raise taxes to perpetuate this mandatory Ponzi scheme.
I have no problem with cutting down on Social Security benefits and making it more sustainable for those who choose to participate. But how can we compel every American to contribute a large percentage of their income to a plan that will be means tested and be administered at the mercy of corrupt politicians? This is purely unconstitutional and should be the next civil rights issue for young voters. We must demand that Republicans not sign onto the perpetuation and entrenchment of Social Security as a permanent form of involuntary servitude.
As we head into the 2012 Presidential election, we will be faced with a choice between candidates who are movement conservatives and those who are "Mr. Fix It technocrats" (in addition to the unambiguous RINOs). The former will always stand for life, liberty, and prosperity. The latter will be willing to sacrifice one of those sacrosanct ideals for the sake of bi-partisan solutions as an intrinsic goal in itself. The time is fast approaching for us to ascertain which prototype each candidate emblematizes.