Socially Insecure

Do I have a deal for you.

Send me $235,000 in weekly installments or 15 percent of your income for 45 years, and I just might provide you with a minimal disability program and a less than subsistence income from the time you reach the age of 65 until you die. Of course, if you die at the age of 64, I get to keep all the money - unless you have one of those pesky spouses still living.

In return for this generous offer, I will have the right to use the money you send me in any way I see fit. This includes spending the money to cover any shortfall I may have in my personal expenses. I will also continue to require a 15 to 20 percent kickback on any money I actually decide to send you. And I reserve the right to hike the age requirement at any time at my sole whim and discretion

Sound too good to be true? Guess again. I already have millions of clients throughout the nation.

I am your government. And if you even try to refuse to join my Social Security program, I will put you in jail and take your money anyway.

The Real Price of Security

Based upon a median household income of $37,000, today's average household will have almost $250,000 in Social Security taxes confiscated by government over an average working lifetime. This includes after tax payroll deductions and the pre-tax portion of employee earnings taken under the misleading guise of "employer contributions".

If families or individuals were permitted to keep those funds, even the most inept investor would achieve at least a three percent after tax return, and those families would have $450,000 at retirement. The average family would easily realize a return of five percent and wind up with $710,000 at retirement. At even half of median income, family earnings now being confiscated would be sufficient for their retirement and the purchase of life and disability insurance over the course of a lifetime.

This should be your money to use or invest as you see fit, not some government handout which vanishes if you fail to reach retirement age. If you die prematurely, your heirs - and not the government - should inherit the money.

I have no problem with lending support to those who are disabled and cannot work or those who, by no fault of their own, fall upon hard times. Private and, if necessary, public support of those individuals would be appropriate. There should; however, be consequences for those able bodied individuals who consciously select not to prepare themselves for retirement. Their poverty should serve as an example of those consequences. Yes, they will have to rely on charity and family. They will not live quite as comfortably as those who were responsible. They will either reap or suffer the consequences of their actions. And rightly so.

Ben Franklin was absolutely correct when he asserted those who sacrifice their liberty for the sake of a little security deserve neither.

Jack McNally

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