The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

I’ll Give You Toxic, Rove: I Want Out Of Social Security

Posted on | September 8, 2011 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

Understood, Karl, you’re making the point in the context of electoral politics. The calculus is that a third of the country is conservative, another third is wee Socialist sheep, and those cancel. Thus, the election amounts to figuring out who courts the independent third of the country most effectively.

The difficulty of this approach is that you’re accepting an aggregation of large chunks of the electorate. Voters don’t actually vote in slabs; those polling percentages are numbers on paper, not the actual people. This top-down, Socialist sheep approach to government is at the heart of the problem.

A conservative, liberty-oriented approach would be to have a Social Security amnesty day. Let everyone of voting age now, and when signing up for the Selective Service hereafter, make a yes/no decision to emanicpate themselves from the entitlement scourge.

That is, let me just walk away from Social Security as though it was a girlfriend whom I did not think would prove a junkie, because heroin is so passé. Sure, I’m eating some financial loss, but the sunk cost of entitlements is nothing compared to the marginal disaster of this idiocy. I won’t even go on and on about how ‘unfair’ it is that I’ve paid into something for a couple of decades that leaves me nothing more than a brace of puncture wounds to the jugular. Toxic, indeed.

And that’s not even mentioning the World’s Youngest Blogger. I hope to be able to discuss our current entitlement slavery with the WYB in the past tense, some day. Our struggle for liberty and emancipation from the false, unsustainable nonsense known as Progressivism will continue to be steep, as a result of feckless talking heads like you, Rove. The good news is that there are still Americans of courage who are willing to call a Ponzi scheme a Ponzi scheme. Is the simple truth toxic? Only if you’re a vampire, and the truth arrives inscribed on a religious symbol.

The good news about the simple truth is that it matters not who bears it.

Via Instapundit, some additional grist.


20 Responses to “I’ll Give You Toxic, Rove: I Want Out Of Social Security”

  1. Rose
    September 8th, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

    Absolutely right on.

  2. Matt Lewis
    September 8th, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

    I also like to stress that Social Security ends up being another racist (NB: unlike raaaaacism, this stuff really was racist) bit of Progressive destruction (e.g., Wagner Act, minimum wage laws), given that black men have lower life expectancies. 

    At least if they owned the accounts, they could pass the wealth on to heirs.  Anybody remember all the recent hand wringing over differences in racial wealth?

    Is it too Alinskyite to hope for a disparate impact lawsuit against the Social Security Administration?

    The conventional wisdom that young people never vote on Social Security is changing, given that most don’t really believe they’ll see any checks when their time comes.  The P-word may not have occurred to them, but it matches what they believe is actually going on.

  3. Anonymous
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    Count me in.

  4. Anonymous
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

    So Smitty, then you agree with the Bush plan on SS?

  5. Charles
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    If your offer for my accrued benefits is zero, my answer is no. And I don’t like the crappy system either.

  6. Ash
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    If I understand correctly, you are advocating allowing people to sign away their rights to receiving any Social Security payments in the future, in return for never again being forced to pay any more money into the system. Correct?

    If so, then I have an alliterative slogan for this idea: Just Give Me Jack.

  7. McGehee
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

    Social Security benefits are not property. The courts have long established that without a legal property interest in the benefits, recipients lack standing to overturn changes to entitlement programs.

  8. CalMark
    September 8th, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

    Great post.

    Rove thinks everyone is a robot.  Like him.  Wrong!  Over the last 15 years, I’ve had lots of Social Security discussions with people like me, who won’t retire anytime soon.  Every time, the opinion is eerily UNANIMOUS:  we’ll never see a dime.  This crosses all political, racial, and social

    I’ll walk away, gladly.  What’s spent is spent–money down a pesthole, goodbye.  I won’t get anything 30 years hence, so it’s not much of a decision.  Even so, I’d rather manage my own money. 

    The idiots who got us $14 trillion (whoops, sorry–forgot about the debt ceiling increase–SEVENTEEN trillion now) in debt can do it better?

  9. Charles
    September 8th, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    Do they also lack standing to vote?

  10. Adjoran
    September 8th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    So sure, let’s forget ObamaCare and the economy and the deficits and the regulatory dictatorship of the Obama Regime.  Put aside the politicization of the Justice Department and the selective enforcement of the laws, forget the corruption.

    Let’s make this an election about Social Security!  Let’s try to lose Florida and make it a sporting contest!

    Once again, you can be pure if you want to.  Or you can win elections.  Losing doesn’t change Social Security at all.

    Pledging reform is one thing and a necessary thing.  Campaigning against the system, no matter how stupidly it was designed, only plays into the Democrats’ desperate hands.

    If you are of the mindset you would rather be “right” than elected, to hell with the consequences, move to Mauritania or someplace where your vote doesn’t matter anyway.

  11. Charles
    September 8th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    I don’t think I’ll get the whole $1 but I do think I’ll get more than a dime. No thanks on your offer.

    So-called conservatives who want zero out social security benefits need to understand that without a transition that gives value for what has been paid in, it’s a money grab.

    The sort of money grab someone like Al Gore would dream up. Wait a minute …

  12. AngelaTC
    September 8th, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Dude, that’s a liberal knee-jerk talking point.  Read Smitty again. Nobody is talking about changing the contract we already have with seniors.  We’re talking about letting people opt out. 

  13. AngelaTC
    September 8th, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    “so called conservatives” are the RINOs who think the federal government should hand out entitlements. 

    Fair value is subjective. I can show you my stock portfolio, and insist that if I had been allowed to invest my own 15%, I’d be a multi-millionaire by now.  

    Now that’s a money grab, and I can certainly make a case that it’s fair.   Allowing me the choice of either opting out from now on,  with no payouts ever, versus staying in for another 15….that’s  how it should work.  But the feds could never stand to make anything that simple.

  14. AngelaTC
    September 8th, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    They don’t vote in the large numbers that the seniors do though.  I was a poll watcher last time out, and for every person under 25, there were 5 that seriously looked like they were making it a point to stay alive just long enough to vote. 

    I don’t think it matters any more though.  Looking at the front-runners, I don’t think the GOP is going to elect anybody who will steer hard right, and I think the dollar is going to suffer huge losses as a result. 

  15. ThePaganTemple
    September 8th, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    The problem with that is, if they opt out, and then they screw up, then we’re going to be taking care of them anyway. Bad plan.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    September 8th, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. If we lose Florida we probably lose the election, especially if we lose it over nutty shit like this, because that won’t be the only state it will lose us. So we’ll have Obama for another four years, and maybe a Democrat Congress as well.

    But hey folks, on the upswing, the result of that is, ironically enough, there probably won’t be any Social Security, or any of those other nasty “entitlements”.

    Of course, there also may not be sovereign USA any longer, but oh well.

  17. Charles
    September 8th, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

    So you want out, and I have to pay for your grandmother who stays in plus my own grandmother. No thanks. This is why we can’t have social security reform. The people who say they support reform refuse to support a realistic transition plan.

    I am acutely aware of what I could have earned investing the money myself over these last 30 years (less the premiums for long term disability insurance, you have to remember). I know it would be more. I would be prepared to take a substantial haircut if we could switch to a better system. But if you insist on skinning me, and all the other people who have been paying in for 3 decades and longer, no thanks.

    Those RINOs you’re talking about from Ronald Reagan on down, and perhaps even you, like to keep the future social security liabilities unfunded and off the books. You can’t keep doing that and transition to an individual account system.

    I don’t agree with Karl Rove on very many things, but I do agree on this. You can’t tell people with accrued social security benefits who have payed into the system for years that they get zero and expect to get elected. Nor should you.

    And frankly the people who insist that those are the only terms that reform can be offered on are as much a part of the problem as the folks who set the system up.

  18. Matt Lewis
    September 8th, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

    It’s certainly true that older people vote more frequently than younger people.  Still, given that the “youth vote” was supposedly one of Obama’s strong demographics, anything you can chip away is a good thing.  And the future of Social Security is definitely one way to do that.

    The best hope for the dollar is for us to stay slightly less screwed up than Europe.

  19. Tennwriter
    September 8th, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    Strauss and Howe in ‘Generations’ which is the much better predecessor to the frequently mentioned ‘Fourth Turning ‘ explain that Idealist Generations (of which the Boomers are one) do get haircuts economically, but in partial repayment have high social status.  Gen Xers, the next gen type in the cycle, the Reactives, just get hosed, but they are used to that.

    What we are seeing now is the Boomers wanting their big money, and perhaps not realizing that if they get it, no one is going to pay attention to them very shortly.

    So some sort of generational grand bargain is going to be made.  GenXers either take over the Nation, and largely repudiate much of what the Boomers did, or the Boomers decide they would rather have respect than riches, a legacy rather than a lounge chair.

    Either way,  we’re heading Rightward and Soconward.  GenXers will have a more hard-boiled take on it with more willingness to let the wicked fall.  Boomers will be more idealistic about it, with a more open arms approach that gathers in everyone.  But either way, its gonna sting to be a liberal.

  20. Charles
    September 9th, 2011 @ 12:54 am

    I’m a Gen-Xer and I know I’m going to get hosed, but I also know I don’t have to be completely hosed. Any politician who offers to guarantee the pampered baby boomer retirees and near retirees while completely hosing me is going to get a hosing, from me. Is that hard-boiled enough for you?

    If Rick Perry wants to lay out his plan and explain how many cents on the dollar he is going to pay on my accrued benefits, we can talk if it’s a good offer. Right now I’m hearing an offer of zero from the Texas toast.