Raising the retirement age is supposedly one of the alternatives to scrapping Social Security and privatizing it ( as it should be).
So every time the system gets in trouble the answer will be to raise the rates of Social Security and/or raise the retirement age at which you can draw a check. This “strategy” eventually reaches the point where you pay in a huge amount of money to a system that will never pay you back for what you have “contributed”. Imagine paying Social Security taxes at age ninety ( who will retain a ninety year old-except Congress) and the amount that consists of withholding and then think about how much you would get back if you lived to ninety-one ( the new retirement age). Instantly the politicians will scoff and say that is ridiculous. What is the end point of raising the retirement age and increasing Social Security taxes? The scoffers have no answer. Just like the debt ceiling they ignore it.
At some point raising the retirement age will coincide with the death panel approach to reducing health care costs and the determination of life will be determined by some henchman whose job is to save the government money. The fact that the government has no money it doesn’t steal from productive members of the citizenry won’t dawn on the cretin that is instructed to do as he is told and eliminate people who are no longer contributing to the tax coffers and now want to get some of their own money back.
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People who have for years thought the government ought to take care of them will find out what governments eventually do. If a government is allowed to reach beyond its created status of protecting individual rights, it inevitably ( especially if it is allowed to tax) ends up violating all the individual rights including the right to life. Why? Because they contend the cost of whatever they are doing must be contained ( due to eventual inflation from borrowing and printing of money). Who must pay this cost? The only ones able to pay. Those who can no longer pay in and want to receive must be either eliminated or their receipts rationed. This is what is the endpoint of allowing government to drift into socialism or actively work to implement it. Eventually the government benefits will atrophy to the point that individual lives will be threatened. It only follows that if the retirement age advances so too will Medicare. That means the working person will pay more into both systems while receiving less in benefits. This is how the government takes care of its citizens when it meddles in economic avenues that should be left to private enterprise.
If you contributed to your own account after several years of working you would have assets to fall back on if you required them. You cannot put a claim on government until they decide when you will be eligible. You cannot use the funds for your optimum benefit if they have regulations that forbid it. If you fall into the category where the government decides your life is no longer worth saving either by health care benefits or living expenses you will simply die.
People who are contending Social Security is not in any trouble and can be saved with a few tweaks or raising the retirement age an/or raising tax rates are only prolonging for their children and grandchildren the inevitable bureaucrat’s decision to decide when they will no longer receive what they have paid to the government during their lifetime.
The mention of death panels was dismissed when it was first introduced but now it is being endorsed by a Nobel prize winning economist by way of the New York Times editorial page. If this is seriously being considered at this stage of indebtedness, what will be the nature of the discussion in the halls of Congress? This is the state of nonsense and viciousness that is erupting from policies and ideas that have been tried and failed throughout history. Socialism has never worked whether it was called Socialism, Naziism, Communism or Fascism. Now calling it Progressive won’t change the nature of its essence.
The alternative to this ugly scenario lies in rethinking the role of capitalism and freedom. The government cannot and will not take care of any individual reading this essay. It will ration and eventually cut off whatever it deems beyond what is affordable. Whether that be housing, food, prescriptions, retirement and even life itself. This is the legacy that future generations will suffer from by listening to “practical’ politicians and professors who scoff at the terminal results they are supporting as too extreme and unwarranted. Ask yourself if nothing bad will happen by continuing this drift to socialism, why did the scenarios of national bankruptcy, genocide and chaos occur in the past in every instance where socialism was tried? If this question is to be evaded in the hope that it has no relevance what then is a question about the future of America that should be considered.
Are we to be a nation of freedom or a welfare state that shrivels along with our elderly who paid too much and received too little?
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.