Obama: “We’re all in it together”!!

Senator Obama’s op-ed on Social Security begins:

In this country, we have always believed that a lifetime of hard work and honest living should be rewarded with a secure and dignified retirement — and Social Security is the cornerstone of that social compact. Last week, as we celebrated its anniversary, we reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring that Social Security is a safety net that today’s seniors and future generations of Americans can count on.

Reward by whom?  What social compact?  If Senator Obama want to set up some kind of reward program, then he should go out and do it.  Find people like him, find donors, customers, etc.  Set up a charity of some sort that “rewards” people for their years of hard work.  Don’t continue to force everyone into the Ponzi Scheme that is Social Security.  That’s just robbery.

If you work hard for a lifetime, and save some of your paycheck, you’ll have quite a nice savings when you’re done.  How much?  Let’s call is 12.4%, which is the sum of the employer and employee contribution of the FICA tax.  (Yes, your employer passes on his share of the tax to you, so your wages are lower.)   Put that percentage into a compound interest calculator and see how much you’d have after a lifetime of hard work.  It’s quite a bit.

Even a paternalistic forced-savings program (like a mandatory 401(k) or 403(b)) would be a huge improvement over Social Security.  At least then you’re forced to save for your own retirement, and you’d be able to bequeath it those you choose.

Obama also speaks of “mutual responsibility,” rather than personal responsibility.  Nothing new here, but it’s still disturbing.

Obama’s op-ed ends:

We need to reclaim the idea that in this country, we’re all in it together. That is America’s very promise — and Social Security’s very guarantee.

Oh. My. God.  Did he really say that “we’re all in it together”?  Yes, he did.  In what?  Holy Collectivism, Batman!

In terms of social security, I guess this means that people in power (Obama and his pals) can determine how to “reward” people by spending other people’s money.

“We’re all in it together.”  America’s promise?  Is this guy for real?  What about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  On liberty, Jefferson wrote:

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. –Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819.

In this context, Social Security is the tyrant’s will.  It obstructs our right to save or spend our money as we see fit, and instead forces us to spend it on what the authorities want.

(Ht, <a href="http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2008/08/questioning_a_t.html”>Arnold Kling)

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under ethics, politics

6 responses to “Obama: “We’re all in it together”!!

  1. nub

    Wow. You sound so shocked about this whole thing, like you just woke up this morning and realized that there’s this thing called social security where – gasp! – they take money out of our paychecks and – horror! – give it to retirees.

    I get it, you hate wealth redistribution. But the way you frame it, like Obama’s the first one to ever have this idea, just seems a bit overwrought.

    Brian replies: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. But just because the program has been around for a long time does not make it less morally egregious. It’s still a horror. And I just wanted to get my thoughts down quickly.

    And since Obama talks about “change” so much, his commitment Social Security as it stands seems rather disingenuous. I mean, does Obama even suggest raising the retirement age to adjust for the difference in longevity between now and when the program started? (I haven’t looked…)

    The WordPress browswer shows the first lines of your comment. So when I read “Wow. You sound so shocked about this whole thing, like you just woke up this morning and realized that…” I thought you’d refer to Obama’s collectivism. 🙂

    Lastly, the term “wealth redistribution” is inaccurate: It implies that wealth is “distributed” (by whom?) rather than created. This smells like Marxism, no surprise, given the leanings of those who advocate it. So they smuggle a premise in to the argument without people noticing. Quite Orwellian. I’d like to come up with a more accurate term. Legalized plunder?

  2. nub

    Wow. You sound so shocked about this whole thing, like you just woke up this morning and realized that there’s this thing called social security where – gasp! – they take money out of our paychecks and – horror! – give it to retirees.

    I get it, you hate wealth redistribution. But the way you frame it, like Obama’s the first one to ever have this idea, just seems a bit overwrought.

    Brian replies: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. But just because the program has been around for a long time does not make it less morally egregious. It’s still a horror. And I just wanted to get my thoughts down quickly.

    And since Obama talks about “change” so much, his commitment Social Security as it stands seems rather disingenuous. I mean, does Obama even suggest raising the retirement age to adjust for the difference in longevity between now and when the program started? (I haven’t looked…)

    The WordPress browswer shows the first lines of your comment. So when I read “Wow. You sound so shocked about this whole thing, like you just woke up this morning and realized that…” I thought you’d refer to Obama’s collectivism. 🙂

    Lastly, the term “wealth redistribution” is inaccurate: It implies that wealth is “distributed” (by whom?) rather than created. This smells like Marxism, no surprise, given the leanings of those who advocate it. So they smuggle a premise in to the argument without people noticing. Quite Orwellian. I’d like to come up with a more accurate term. Legalized plunder?

  3. nub

    Well actually, these days I see that term being used a lot more by the right than the left – lefties usually just call it progressive taxation and call it a day. And I think it’s a wee bit disingenuous of you to toss about accusations of Orwellianism when the principal rhetorical tactic of libertarians everywhere is to take commonly accepted terms and replace them with “scare words,” just as you’re attempting to do here. “Legalized plunder,” “government schools,” etc. Sort of a reverse doublespeak, if you ask me.

  4. nub

    Well actually, these days I see that term being used a lot more by the right than the left – lefties usually just call it progressive taxation and call it a day. And I think it’s a wee bit disingenuous of you to toss about accusations of Orwellianism when the principal rhetorical tactic of libertarians everywhere is to take commonly accepted terms and replace them with “scare words,” just as you’re attempting to do here. “Legalized plunder,” “government schools,” etc. Sort of a reverse doublespeak, if you ask me.

  5. sam

    How ironic. If someone did try to take away social security retirees would scream bloody-murder. They usually vote Republican. The fact is both parties have elements of entitlement.

    I am a young person and I am going to be screwed; my social security goes to current retirees, but social security won’t exist by the time I’m retirement age. Give me my social security money and I will add it to my existing investments. Better we do this now rather then later.

  6. sam

    How ironic. If someone did try to take away social security retirees would scream bloody-murder. They usually vote Republican. The fact is both parties have elements of entitlement.

    I am a young person and I am going to be screwed; my social security goes to current retirees, but social security won’t exist by the time I’m retirement age. Give me my social security money and I will add it to my existing investments. Better we do this now rather then later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s