Man! You Young People Are Really Getting Hosed When It Comes To Social Security!
by FRANK HILL
August 15, 2012
Would you give a financial manager $598,000 of your hard-earned money (over the course of your lifetime) who then 'promised' to give you back $556,000 during your retirement years for a net loss of $42,000???
Of course not. You would be completely insane to do so.
You would call this financial adviser your ex-financial planner/manager. You would fire him just as soon as you could see the handwriting on the wall that read: 'You are getting a bum deal, bub!'
Well, that is precisely what is happening to you today if you are under the age of 60.
Except your 'financial planner/manager' is none other than the Social Security Administration.
That is right. The very program so many in Congress are so eager to 'protect' for you and yours and the AARP 'swears' it will (almost) inflict bodily harm on anyone in Congress who dares even to breath the words: 'Reform Social Security!'
The same program that has been 'promising' that 'the federal government will take care of you in your golden years' and 'is so perfect today that no one should ever change one iota of it'.
Don't believe it. You have been having the wool pulled over your eyes for decades....all of us have. The same politicians who have brought you the following: 1) The $16 trillion national debt and 2) The financial demise of Medicare have also been the ones hiding the truth from you about SS.
That is not a very pretty record, now is it?
A recent article 'SS Not Deal It Once Was For Workers' cites an Urban Institute study that figured out all this stuff for you.
Now understand this from the get-go: The Urban Institute has not, is not, and will not EVER be mistaken to be a tool of right-wing Neanderthalic knuckle-draggers (as described by those on the left). In fact, we were a more than a little surprised to see this report come out under their letterhead.
This must mean they are 'speaking truth', right?
We knew that everyone under the age of 60 was going to get hammered in terms of paying tons of hard-earned payroll taxes to support the existing program that takes care of Granny and Grandpa today.
What we learned in this study was the extent that the problem has gotten worse in the last several years.
What we don't understand yet is why the young people of this nation are not marching in the streets with pitchforks and hot tar demanding that Congress and the President knock off all of the posturing over SS and 'fix' the program like it should have been fixed in 1980 when Chile changed their social retirement program.
Who really gives a darn about Mitt Romney's tax return? We know he is a wealthy guy. 'Stop The Presses!' 'Read All About It!' (Thanks, but no thanks)
What is the world could he do as President that would be affected by whether or not he invested in Acme Manufacturing in 2002?
Think about this article and the attending supporting document and what it really is saying to you.
Here's what should be plowing through your brain right now:
'Any politician who has been elected over the past 30 years who has allowed the actual value of my Social Security benefits to be so grossly less than the actual value of SS payroll taxes I have paid in over my lifetime....should be coated in the tar mentioned previously and then feathered with goose feathers.'
'And, I am never going to vote for the incumbent again (assuming the challenger will vote to change and seriously IMPROVE Social Security!' (see 'Chile')
These guys and ladies have systematically avoided fixing the problem for you for about the past 50 years, fellow citizens. They are more afraid of the AARP than they are about you, quite simply, because the AARP 'says' they control the voting behavior of 44 million senior citizens now all presumably on Social Security.
But here's the shocking statistic that plays into your favor as a future recipient of a better, improved SS system:
There are now at least twice as many people who are eligible to vote and who are going to be on the short end of this SS deal than the senior citizen people who got the 'better' deal under it from roughly 1960-on to today.
That is called 'leverage' in the political game and one the younger generation should start to play each and every time you contact your incumbent representative or Senator in Washington or his or her challenger in the primary and/or general election coming up.
I had the privilege of working with Elizabeth Dole in 2002 when she ran for the US Senate against Erskine Bowles, who is now feverishly working to reduce our massive budget deficits.
One of the things that attracted me to working with her in her campaign and later on Capitol Hill as her first chief of staff was the fact that she was fore-square for the reform of Social Security. She saw it for what it was: a shell game where money was transferred from the younger working American generation to the older retired generation under the pretext of being 'invested' in some investment vehicle, which it most definitely is not.
She ran on a platform that clearly explained the following and won going away, 56-44% over a very formidable opponent.
'Nobody has EVER called for taking any current benefits away from ANY senior citizen now on Social Security or even close to it.
All we need to do is to start transitioning to a plan where younger workers can begin to put money away in a private investment account for each person, as is currently being done in Chile, all the while continuing to pay the current benefits of senior citizens during their golden years.'
Of course, Elizabeth Dole had the advantage of being trusted by every senior citizen in the country due to her years as head of the Red Cross and years of distinguished public service. She could have called for the complete repeal of Social Security and Medicare and I swear, people in the senior homes would have applauded her because they 'trusted' her not to do anything to hurt them.
Now that Mitt Romney has named Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his Vice-President running mate, you are going to hear a lot about how Republicans are going to try to 'gut' Social Security' (it is a bad deal for younger people says the Urban Institute, not us) and 'end Medicare as we know it! (Good! It is financially broke and unsustainable in its current form. It must be 'fixed' by someone) and 'throw Granny and Gramps off the cliff out of their wheelchairs!'
How ridiculous, infantile and baseless of a charge.
It is you, the younger generation, who have been thrown off the fiscal cliff, young ladies and gentlemen. As long as you don't vote or vote in numbers greater than the AARP members do, they will continue to throw your financial future off the cliff until you do.
Pay attention this year. The future you save might be your own.
Contributing Editor Frank Hill ran for Congress at the age of 28 and served as chief of staff for former Congressman Alex McMillan (NC-9) and Senator Elizabeth Dole (NC). He was a budget associate on the House Budget Committee for 4 years and worked on the 1994 Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform. He now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where he does some consulting and lots of worrying about federal spending issues.