Saturday, March 13, 2010

Entitlement Programs - The Great Ponzi Schemes of American Socialists | by Keith Allen Lehman

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the otherVoltaire (1764)
There are those who have and are complaining about how much the United States spends on military, defense, and border security. They don’t realize that over 50% of government spending involves some social government program called entitlements.
The Left...offers an appeal to moral virtue: It’s better to pay more in taxes and to share the burdens as a community. It’s kinder, gentler, more compassionate, and more equitable. Unfortunately, as recent European election results demonstrate, nothing makes a citizen more selfish than socially equitable communitarianism: Once a fellow’s enjoying the fruits of government health care and all the rest, he couldn’t give a hoot about the broader societal interest; he’s got his, and if it’s going to bankrupt the state a generation hence, well, as long as they can keep the checks coming till he’s dead, it’s fine by him. ‘Social democracy’ is, in that sense, explicitly antisocialMark Steyn

Democrats will complain about Medicare, as they did when GW Bush was president, and now they want to add yet another monstrous entitlement program during a period of an economic crisis they have made worse by interference; ignoring the fact that it was government’s hand in too much of what is the private sector caused most of the problem. Then, as when they are pushing for a national, government-controlled health system, they claim how people need and want Medicare.
As David S. Van Dyke wrote at American Thinker in the article entitled The Land of Entitlements:
… Very few alive today remember a time without Social Security. Within the space of a human lifespan, our society has become a culture conditioned to accept (and expect) entitlements as the norm without questioning the consequences. It has been a very effective strategy to enlarge government. Social Security was enacted in 1935 (75 years ago). The country was suffering in the Great Depression. Communism was actually popular in this country at the time. … At the time Social Security was enacted, it was palatable to the American public and a reasonably safe bet for the federal government. Most people didn't live long enough to become eligible. For several decades, Social Security did not appear to be the obvious Ponzi scheme that it is. At its inception, there were something like sixteen workers for every Social Security recipient, and the associated payroll taxes were low. Left alone, Social Security would be solvent to this day and perhaps far into the future. But things changed. Before too long, Social Security was funding all sorts of things for which it was never intended (e.g., disability and dependent children). Congress viewed it as a giant vote-buying machine. Further, they saw that great big pile of money from Social Security payroll taxes and couldn't help but spend it and replace it with worthless IOUs. [*] … What was originally envisioned as a supplemental income came to be viewed as a total government-funded pension. If the money collected through payroll taxes had not been spent as fast as it came in, Social Security might still be solvent today. But this is not the case. … Had Social Security never been enacted, or (at least) had it been reformed when we had a chance, our country would be in much better financial health now. I clearly remember my father complaining that my maternal grandparents drew far more from Social Security than they ever paid in. This is probably true for every generation ever since Social Security was enacted. … We are today witnessing the inevitable implosion of the largest Ponzi scheme ever devised by mankind. Social Security essentially defines "unsustainable." We can buy some time, but none of the necessary measures are palatable to either politicians or the American public. … In short, it is utterly impossible to continue down the path FDR established 75 years ago. …
If Social Security doesn't pose enough of a threat, then there's this: Left unchecked, Medicare will utterly bankrupt the nation. Medicare was enacted in 1965 following other "Great Society" welfare measures. … Think about coronary artery bypass graft surgery, stents, pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, intraocular lens replacement, advances in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, advances in the management of diabetes, and the myriad of drugs that treat and prevent disease. No, to LBJ and the liberal Congress of 1965, Medicare appeared to be a relatively small-ticket vote-buying initiative. The problems Medicare (and Medicaid) presents today nearly dwarf Social Security, but we can employ the same tactics to buy some time while we formulate a more realistic solution for the long run. [†]
The fact is that our current entitlement programs threaten to consume virtually 100% of GDP if left unchecked. In truth, we can't go on much longer without making some unpopular changes. Why Obama is pushing for an expansion of our current entitlement system defies logic. We can't even afford to maintain the programs we already have. …
When President Barack Obama first became the 44th President of the United States, he pledged in January of 2009 that he would work at reforming Social Security and Medicare programs. During the Bush administration it was suggested to slowly turn over Social Security to the private sector so as not to hurt those who were coming up for retirement. It would have been a choice of the individual and would put matters of retirement back into the hands of the people.

The Democrats threw a fit and refused. So while President Obama pledged to do something about it, once again, like his Hope and Change diatribe – no substantial and workable plan went along with the pledge, and was soon forgotten as he implemented his ObamaCare program – the daddy of all entitlements and the beginning of the end of free choice for the American people when it comest to healthcare.
It might be noted that Social Security a product of the FDR administration was called the grand experiment or social experiment, but in reality, it is much like most of the entitlement programs: social engineering.
It has turned out much like Frankenstein’s monster. 
Parasitic entitlement programs and politicians will end up killing its host.

Suggested Reading and Sources
Entitlement Program Insolvency ...  Professor Bainbridge

[*] Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are guilty of this.
[†] Another problem with politicians is that they do not take the time to study long-term results when passing legislation, as well as the President who signs it. In addition, they fail to see if it matches to the powers established by the Constitution of the United States. This practice must stop and all legislation be reexamined to determine whether it meets Constitutional applicability, rules, and regulations.

No comments:

Post a Comment