Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Race Boondoggle

“To make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one (and) to annihilate the power of reason.  He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery, he must be made to feel that slavery is right.”  Frederick Douglass
The Race Boondoggle
About the only pleasant result of the 08 election was that America elected its first African American president, even if he is a miserable disaster and half Caucasian. Obama’s election wasn’t just a significant historical moment for America it was more like a long overdue rite of passage for a nation yearning to right a historical wrong.  Not only is human slavery a stain upon our national character, it’s also a kind of spiritual guilt that, well, never leaves us.  If anything, America is a nation that likes to right its wrongs and we as a nation have worked mightily toward achieving this goal.   Guilt is always a powerful moral incentive, even if those who harbor guilt never owned a slave or advocated for slavery.  It’s still a cross that Americans willingly bear because African Americans comprise a huge chunk of our poor.

One of the worst horrors of Katrina was not the hurricane or the deaths or the destruction.  Natural disasters happen and people die; the planet will never get a reprieve from violent acts of nature.  But the horror of thousand of African Americans who just sat helplessly amidst the carnage was by far the greatest human misery and desperation one could witness.  They resembled some kind of shocked zombies who didn’t appear even human as they pathetically pleaded for the government to take care of them as if they were a herd of lost and desperate cattle. 

What’s gone wrong since LBJ declared his “War on Poverty”?  After all America has spent at least $9 trillion on the “War on Poverty”.  Yet, we haven’t reduced poverty.  That’s largely because the multitude of federally funded programs were specifically engineered to create a permanent class of impoverished and entitlement dependent “Katrina Nation” folks.  

The goal of a supposedly benevolent government providing you with everything you think you want is the poisonous bait that folks willingly ingest every chance they can.  By being relieved of the moral responsibility to toil and earn their daily bread Americans have settled into a state of delusional bliss and embraced government as the latest crop of gods who will somehow and miraculously guarantee the cornucopia of plenty.  Not only is government failing for African Americans, government is failing for all Americans regardless of race.
By stripping humanity of their dignity to work, produce and succeed, you effectively categorize them as dependent animals that must be cared for and controlled.   But nowhere has this phenomena been more glaringly apparent than in the African American community.  The Civil Rights Act is now a smoldering ruin as African Americans have been returned to the plantation.  Only this time around, African Americans actually voted for their enslavers of choice and voluntarily resettled themselves back to the safety and security of the plantation.
Star Parker, an African American female who was once a victim of the welfare society, wrote a fascinating book titled “Uncle Sam’s Plantation”.  A website she runs,, describes the book as “How big government enslaves America's poor and what we can do about it”.  Parker’s book goes into endless details about how government programs have destroyed the African American community and family by keeping them chained to welfare impoverishment and Parker effectively describes this situation as a return to plantation life.  Indeed, southern plantation life was probably a lot better for African American slaves than the modern government created ghettos of hopeless and horrifying poverty, crime and drug abuse.  But there are also a lot of moving parts to the agony of African American impoverishment – all government induced and viciously criminal. 
The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964 was welcomed by most Caucasian Americans as it was hailed as an opportunity for African Americans to finally achieve economic justice and have the same bundle of opportunities available to Caucasian folks.   With the advent of outlawing discrimination based on race, African Americans should have easily moved into the ranks of the middle class and its upward mobility but two insidious government induced factors came into play that largely prevented an upwardly mobile African American middle class.
First, the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing was revving up.  Our plants and manufacturing facilities have been dying since the 1960’s but the death of U.S. manufacturing substantially intensified during the 70’s and 80’s.   These days, it’s an epidemic.   Middle class factory jobs have always been the springboard for building middle class wealth and upward mobility; indeed, many Caucasian factory workers of gritty factory life were able to achieve the dream of earning enough money to send their kids off to college to become engineers and doctors and enjoy more prosperous futures. 
Secondly, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had no sooner passed that an open border policy led by Ted Kennedy and his open border Democrat/Republican pals resulted in the first of many immigration bills that flooded America with cheap third world labor.  Ted Kennedy stood on the Senate floor to defend his 1965 immigration bill by stating “The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs”.
Ted Kennedy was not only wrong, he continued throughout his Senate career to push for one open border bill after another.  The importation of third world poverty combined with a diminishing manufacturing industry was a catastrophic blow to African Americans.  Where was the upward mobility for African American families that the Civil Rights Act was supposed to achieve?  Factories were being shipped overseas and cheap third world labor played a key role in driving down wages and keeping African Americans impoverished. 
To be sure African Americans were royally screwed. 
Although it’s true that the Democratic Party thrives on building its base with entitlement dependent “Katrina Nation” folks, the Republicans are just as guilty because they are notorious for having their campaign coffers filled with special interest dough from the cheap labor lobby. 
The Social Security tax is a huge rip off but it affects African American males the most because of their high mortality rates.  At 15.3%, the government seizes a whopping percentage of a wage earners labor.   However, African American males frequently don’t live to collect their benefits and/or collect benefits for a much shorter period of time because they die much younger.  They die much younger because African American males have no place to go in an economy stacked against them so crime, drugs and gangs have flourished and a life of crime definitely impacts one’s longevity. 
Democrats and liberals are guilty as hell for engineering the economic misery inflicted upon African Americans because these elites are diehard plantation owners who are convinced that they are entitled, by divine decree, to rule lesser mortals.    Republicans have different motivations than Democrats but GOP actions are almost exclusively rooted in its bogus free trade mantra.   After all, the GOP is the party of Lincoln.
The tragic decline of the African American family and community is unbearable to witness.  Once proud, moral and independent with strong survival instincts and even stronger families, African Americans were once accustomed to surviving on their own by the sheer dint of their own self determination, resourcefulness and ability to endure any hardship.   They had a vibrant culture whose influences were far and wide.  One only has to listen to Dvorak’s New World Symphony to have one’s soul filled with the haunting sounds of the deeply moving symphony inspired by the Negro spiritual. 
These days, African American culture has been reduced to “pimps, hoes and rap” and YouTube videos of African American youth committing horrific crimes and brutally beating up people.  Their incarceration rate is out of the stratosphere because, well, they commit a lot of crimes and most of that crime is committed in their own neighborhoods against other African Americans. 
Decades ago an African American acquaintance who was educated and successful told me that welfare was the white man’s way to keep blacks down and out, impoverished and dependent – he said racist white folks loved keeping black folks on welfare because it was the white man’s justification for slavery based on the belief that blacks are fundamentally inferior and incapable of achieving anything anyway.   Moreover, he was convinced that the best hope for African Americans was to force them to stand on their own two feet by ending welfare.
Many prominent and successful African Americans have extensively analyzed issues affecting African Americans in conjunction with various government interventions.  Thomas Sowell, one of my favorite economists, said:
A far higher proportion of blacks in poverty rose out of poverty in the 20 years between 1940 and 1960 -- that is, before any major federal civil rights legislation -- than in the more than 40 years since then. This trend continued in the 1960s, at a slower pace. The decade of the 1970s -- the first affirmative action decade -- saw virtually no change in the poverty rate among blacks.
In other words, most blacks lifted themselves out of poverty but liberal politicians and black "leaders" have claimed credit. One side effect is that many whites wonder why blacks cannot lift themselves out of poverty like other groups, when that is in fact what most blacks have done.
Lifting one’s self out of poverty and hardship has always been an individual initiative, a family initiative and a cultural initiative.   But what happens when forces are at work to destroy the individual, the family and a culture?  The only entity on earth with the powers to destroy the individual is government and when government mandates that human beings must be treated like helpless and hapless herds of human cattle, then government itself embarks on a morally repugnant endeavor to strip folks of their natural rights.  America was founded on a very unique principle – the principle that there are certain inalienable rights and that these rights are natural rights that cannot be abridged by government or anybody for that matter.  As America morphs into a cesspool of collective rights and abandons individual rights, there can be no rights whatsoever because when the ownership of all rights is claimed by the government and are selectively doled out to certain individuals and/or groups for various purposes (votes, money etc.), then Americans are left at the mercy of their rulers and have no recourse under the rule of law.   Once this happens, Americans are no longer sovereign citizens but nothing more than mere subjects who must beg their masters for what was once a God given right – the right to produce, own property and build wealth.    
The welfare state has not only made African Americans subjects with narrow and selective rights instead of fully empowered citizens but huge swaths of America’s hoards are now being forced to join them because the shock and awe economic destruction heaped upon the American people by government has systematically destroyed the middle class regardless of skin color or race.
Democrats campaign on the mantra that they are the defenders of the middle class and poor.  How they get away with spreading this poison is troubling indeed because the Democrats have done more to kick African Americans back to the plantation while at the same time tossing Caucasians and Hispanics etc. onto Uncle Sam’s Plantation.
Without factories and a strong domestic manufacturing base no nation can survive in the long term or short term.  But Republicans and Democrats have conspired to offshore all those wonderful industries that once built a prospering middle class. 
To be sure, when African Americans are lashing out because they intuitively comprehend that something is radically wrong it takes a real heartless bastard not to feel their pain.  Furthermore, African Americans and everybody else looks for solutions in all the wrong places – the government’s subsistence level plantation.
The tragedies are everywhere.  I’m reading a article titled A hard ending for housekeepers, Uncommon outsourcing eliminates 100 Hyatt jobs” with a gut wrenching photo of an African American woman who worked as a housekeeper for the Hyatt.  The face lined with pain and hopelessness has a name, Lucine Williams, and she worked as a housekeeper for Hyatt for 22 years and earned $15.32 an hour, plus health insurance, which translates to a weekly paycheck of $612.80  or $31,865 a year. 
The Hyatt fired 100 housekeepers and outsourced the job to a Georgia company called Hospitality Staffing Solutions.    Lucine and 99 other fired housekeepers who worked at 3 Hyatt Boston area hotels were asked, prior to their firings, to train staff who would be used to fill in for vacation.  After they trained their replacements only then were the housekeepers told that they were fired.  Their replacements will be earning $8 an hour with no benefits.  Those $8 an hour folks will probably be on Medicaid and other forms of welfare.  It’s probably also true that they are legal and/or illegal immigrants.  But these days, who knows?  They could be any number of desperate Americans desperately scrounging for work to feed their families.
It just so happens that the now infamous Massachusetts healthcare reform, dubbed Romneycare, has resulted in the highest healthcare costs in the nation at $13,788 per average family, up 40% since 2003 but that was before the passage of Obamacare which will further drive healthcare costs out of the stratosphere.   Could it be that outrageous healthcare plans mandated by the Massachusetts Legislature contributed to the Hyatt’s decision?   
Assuming that Lucine Williams worked 40 hours a week, her annual salary of $31,865 was actually a labor cost of $31,865 plus the cost of the annual insurance premium of $13,788 which brings her actual labor cost to $45,654 (plus retirement benefits).  By firing Lucine Williams and 99 others, the Hyatt just reduced it’s per employee labor cost from $45,654 per year to $16,640 with the taxpayers picking up the tab for the social costs of the $8 an hour folks.
Effectively, Hyatt didn’t just reduce its labor costs, Hyatt transferred the social costs to the taxpayers and used cheap third world labor and slave wages to reduce its labor costs.  It’s how America operates these days. 
Lucine Williams is just one of the pain lined and hopeless faces of millions upon millions of Americans of all races but mostly Caucasian and African Americans who have been shafted by the deliberate importation of cheap third world labor.
The website of Hospitality Staffing Solutions states:
Hospitality Staffing Solutions of Georgia specializes in providing service personnel to the hotel industry and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with four regional locations. We currently have over 4500 associates working in major hotels in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Biloxi, Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Ft. Lauderdale, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Miami, Milwaukee, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tampa, Tucson, and Washington D.C.. Additional markets are being developed constantly. HSS provides associates to high-end, full-service hotels, convention and airport properties. Some of our current Hotel Partners include: Hyatt, Intercontinental, Marriott, MGM, Starwood, and White Lodging.
After Katrina and during the fast moves by Congress to spend as much money as quickly as possible, I heard Sen. Dorgan on C-Span give a presentation complete with photographs that documented the floods of Mexicans who were pouring in for the clean-up work.  They were literally carted in en mass and stacked in FEMA trailers like sardines that resembled Nazi trains on the way to the concentration camps.    There were also many stories about how local African Americans and Caucasians were initially hired at about $12 an hour for the clean-up work but they were quickly fired when the slave wage immigrants arrived.   Many big contractors were quickly awarded hugely profitable contracts and they promptly fired local labor, skilled and unskilled, and replaced them with $6-8 an hour immigrant labor.
When the colorful Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, proudly proclaimed that New Orleans would once again be a “chocolate” city, I would have bet him a box of chocolates that he was wrong. 
While Americans of African American, Caucasian and even Hispanic descent are witnessing horrific job losses and massive declines in wages, many of the immigrants are horribly exploited by ruthless operators.
Local immigrant advocates are growing concerned about a trend among cleaning subcontractors of failing to pay wages to their undocumented workers and of threatening them with reporting them to immigration authorities, if they complain...
An attorney with Greater Boston Legal Service is representing the workers.
Eight individual complaints have been filed since last year against Capital Cleaning Contractors, a national cleaning company; Hospitality Staffing Solutions, based in Virginia, and Boston Office Cleaning, Inc., and Capital New England Hospitality, Inc., the latter two owned by Brazilians and Massachusetts-based subcontractors with Capital Cleaning Contractors.
"The subcontractors have terrified people who dared to pursue their wage payments."
A Brazilian woman who worked for a subcontractor can attest to that. The woman, who is illegally in the country, doesn't want to be identified for fear of retaliation from her former employer. She was hired to clean hotel rooms in Cambridge for $8 an hour and was paid four of the six months she worked for a Brazilian man who ran one of the subcontracting companies.
"When I complained, he told me I'd better keep quiet because I didn't have documents," said the woman. "He was exploiting us, making us work and not paying us. It was like we were his slaves."

Welcome to the new America – no longer the land of the free but the land of the exploited - an America where human slavery is quietly and not so quietly being implemented under the approving eyes of a shameless Congress.   But what the heck, since it’s no longer African American slavery and encompasses Caucasian slaves, Hispanic slaves and slaves from other ethnic nooks and crannies of the planet, America the cesspool of the chronically downtrodden and impoverished is now heralded as a multi-cultural paradise complete with social justice.   That’s what the politicians tell us when we go to vote. 
No wonder everybody is angry at somebody.  But those who created the quagmire of human misery are laughing all the way to the bank and/or getting re-elected election after election. 
America should never be about racial and ethnic tensions but it is and that’s because Congress is fully committed to churning America into a third world cesspool as fast as it can.  In Los Angeles and other cities, Hispanic gangs and African American gangs are at war and many articles have been written about Hispanic gang members seeking out African Americans to just kill for the fun of it.   Racial violence is intensifying at an alarming rate in America.
What a freaking horror.
But I can’t stop thinking about Lucine Williams and the only vision that comes to my mind is one of Nancy Pelosi’s stiletto high heels pinning her down on the ground and grinding it into her face saying “thanks for voting for the Democrats nigger.  By the way I support bringing in more third world folks so uppity niggers like you stay down on the  plantation where you’ve always belonged but I’ll toss you a few crumbs as I sip vintage Champagne and eat caviar in my big taxpayer funded jet and stretch limos and if you complain, my gargantuan carbon footprint will be imprinted on your fat ass ”.    
But it’s not just a filthy rich race baiting witch like Pelosi who grows powerful and rich off the backs of ordinary Americans like Lucine Williams who toiled for years to try and make it in America and got stiffed.  It’s everybody who voted for open borders, NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, Bankster bailouts and government programs that have destroyed the American middle class not by accident or even sheer stupidity but by deliberate intent. 
What’s really happened to the African American community is that the middle class dependence on domestic manufacturing that promotes upward social and economic mobility was squashed dead in its tracks.  No sooner was the ink dry on the Civil Rights Act that a flood of open border bills combined with escalating manufacturing outsourcing strangled the potential for African Americans to move up.  Instead, African Americans voluntarily became captives on the Democratic Plantation, the welfare state, it’s failed “Chicago” style education system and acquiesced to a state of permanent victimhood and hideous poverty.
Americans who believe that human slavery is vanquished are delusional.  It’s coming back with a vengeance but only this time around it’s in a far more sinister and insidious form.  These days we actually have the brazen audacity to call it free trade.   But the plantation itself is no longer a plantation for African Americans, it's a plantation for ALL Americans as African Americans, Caucasians, Latinos and others get sucked into the black hole of permanent serfdom. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Social Security Boondoggle

Three groups spend other people's money: children, thieves, politicians. All three need supervision.  Dick Armey

The American people have a false sense of security when it comes to believing that the government’s “cradle to the grave” entitlements will always be there and will guarantee them a secure and worry free retirement.   In truth the American perception of retirement security is indeed fatally flawed and even the Dallas Federal Reserve startled America when it declared that the SS and Medicare shortfall will be $100 trillion dollars.
Add together the unfunded liabilities from Medicare and Social Security, and it comes to $99.2 trillion over the infinite horizon. Traditional Medicare composes about 69 percent, the new drug benefit roughly 17 percent and Social Security the remaining 14 percent.
I want to remind you that I am only talking about the unfunded portions of Social Security and Medicare. It is what the current payment scheme of Social Security payroll taxes, Medicare payroll taxes, membership fees for Medicare B, copays, deductibles and all other revenue currently channeled to our entitlement system will not cover under current rules. These existing revenue streams must remain in place in perpetuity to handle the “funded” entitlement liabilities. Reduce or eliminate this income and the unfunded liability grows. Increase benefits and the liability grows as well.

The government used to get away with operating the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme because an upwardly mobile middle class with rising wages paid the taxes to keep the scheme alive and growing.  But wages have been crashing for at least a decade and “real” wages are at 1970’s levels.  Besides promising outsized benefits that can never be paid, the government is broke and so is Social Security/Medicare. 
The so-called Social Security Trust Fund has been looted by Congress to the tune of well over $2 trillion.  The Congressional thieves merely raided the SS Trust Fund and left a big pile of IOU’s.   After all, Congress Critters love doling out the financial security of retirees, widows and orphans to their rich partners in crime.  Senator Jim DeMint introduced a bill to stop Congress from raiding the SS Trust Fund but it went nowhere.
It’s time for politicians to stop stealing from our seniors to secretly finance trillions in wasteful Washington spending,” said Senator DeMint. “Congress has been raiding the entire Social Security surplus every year to pay for bridges to nowhere, teapot museums, and bloated government agencies. Politicians in Congress are using Enron-styled accounting, but if this were done in the private sector they’d be sent to jail. It is time to stop spending the Social Security surplus on other government programs and begin saving it for this generation and the next.”
 Every year, Congress raids the entire Social Security surplus to pay for wasteful earmarks and other government programs. In the last 20 years, Congress has already raided two trillion dollars from Social Security, including interest. Without Senator DeMint’s “Stop the Raid” amendment, the Social Security Administration estimates that Congress will raid an additional $452 billion from Social Security between 2009 and 2013, which including interest would exceed $1 trillion.
 “There is nothing but stacks of IOU’s in the Social Security trust fund because Congress has spent all of the money and will continue to spend it if we don’t take immediate action. Because of this raid by politicians, Social Security will not be able to pay promised benefits to seniors in less than 10 years.”
Things are about to get a whole lot worse for SS as it is drying up faster than originally projected which was 6 years from now.  SS is now officially in the hole for 2010 and will need $41 billion from the government to fund the benefit.  With a severely ailing economy it isn’t likely that SS will be replenished anytime soon with SS taxes from a largely unemployed and underemployed population of financially struggling folks.
As bad as things are for Social Security, it’s quite minor when compared with the massive underfunding of Medicare and the prescription drug program.   It’s probably true that the current generation of folks receiving SS and Medicare will be the last generation of folks to receive promised benefits. 
But the simple truth is:  there is no money to fund what Americans consider a comfortable retirement entitlement and “free everything” as their birth right.  Politicians merely used these entitlement programs as a cover to steal and like Bernie Madoff who “made-off” with the money, what Congress does is even more criminally negligent.  Many Congress Critters are quite wealthy and have personal trust funds to protect their assets from public plunder.  How would they feel if “We the People” raided their personal trust funds, stole their money and left a big pile of worthless IOU’s?   Moreover, Congress Critters have a pension plan that has been dubbed the “Golden Fleece Retirement” because “Congressional pension benefits are 2-3 times more generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expect to receive upon retiring from the private sector”, according to the National Taxpayers Union.  Congressional pensions are so generous that they can collect $5 million or more in benefits.
These same Congress Critters who generally average millions in public pension benefits and who are already rich or exceedingly financially comfortable to begin with have no moral qualms whatsoever when it comes to robbing ordinary working stiffs of their Social Security checks.
Many financial planners and organizations have calculated how much one would receive in pension benefits if the same amount of money a person is forced to dump into SS was invested in private retirement accounts. 
Social Security finances retirement benefits by taxing workers' wages. Holding the tax rate constant, total benefits can increase by no more than payroll increases. That has been about 1.6 percent per year. It's the rough equivalent of a portfolio of stocks and bonds that earns 1.6 percent. If one were to save $1,000 yearly for a 44-year working career and earn this rate of return, accumulated wealth would be about $63,000. Over the last 75 years the compounded annual real return from a balanced fund of 70 percent stocks and 30 percent bonds was 6.2 percent. Saving $1,000 per year for 44 years at this rate of return would result in about $211,000…
Since World War II there have been only two occasions during which the market fell for two consecutive years-1973 and 1974, and 2000 and 2001-culminating in losses of 41 and 21 percent, respectively. Yet for the full period 1973 through 2001 the average annual compounded return was 12 percent, about 6.5 percent after adjusting for inflation.

Private investing is the only true wealth builder that benefits every member of society but government systematically stripes folks of their ability to build wealth, have financial security and own the resources to fund their retirement and healthcare needs.  More to the point, the government doesn’t want the great unwashed masses to have economic power and financial security because then folks wouldn’t be begging politicians for a few crumbs when they vote. 
There are other problems that differentiate the SS nightmare of today from the days when real surpluses accrued in the system.  In 1950 there were 16 workers supporting every retiree on SS.  These days there are under 3 workers to support every SS collecting retiree.  Also, expensive and unfunded programs for Medicare and prescription drugs were added and expanded over the years (Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D).  The incredible burden on the young to support an aging population that is living longer and longer is mindboggling and will ultimately result in generational warfare.  Because there is no money to fund what was supposed to be a self-supporting financial system of entitlements and medical care, these benefits will either have to be drastically reduced or taxes will have to increase significantly. 
The Nation Center for Policy Analysis has reported on the level of taxation needed to fund the promised benefits.
Future Payroll Tax Burdens.  Currently, a 12.4 percent payroll tax on wages funds Social Se­curity and a 2.9 percent payroll tax funds Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance).  But if payroll tax rates rise to meet unfunded obligations:
·         When today's college students reach retirement (about 2054), Social Security alone will require a 16.6 percent payroll tax, one-third greater than today's rate.
·         When Medicare Part A is included, the payroll tax burden will rise to 25.7 percent - more than one of every four dollars workers will earn that year.
·         If Medicare Part B (physician services) and Part D are included, the total Social Security/Medicare burden will climb to 37 percent of payroll by 2054 - one in three dollars of taxable payroll, and twice the size of today's payroll tax burden!

Can Higher Taxes Solve the Prob­lem?  The CBO also found that if federal income tax rates are adjusted to allow the government to continue its current level of activity and balance its budget:
  • The lowest marginal income tax rate of 10 percent would have to rise to 26 percent.
  • The 25 percent marginal tax rate would increase to 66 percent.
  • The current highest marginal tax rate (35 percent) would rise to 92 percent!

Additionally, the top corporate income tax rate of 35 percent would increase to 92 percent.
With unfunded entitlements eating up bigger and bigger chunks of the federal budget, the system has about as much shelf life as any Ponzi scheme.  
America is facing a horror wherein the young will be forced into acute impoverishment just to support the old.  The fact that our economy doesn’t offer much in the way of economic prospects for the young to earn and build wealth, America as a nation will collapse under the weight of such financial burdens. 
Seniors will frequently shout “I demand those benefits because I paid for them”.  However, this is not always true because many of them collect 2-3 times what they paid in, depending on how long they live and their health issues.  One of the worst tragedies for all Americans is that the SS and tax systems rob working folks blind because the system is designed to prohibit personal wealth building for the middle class.  Everybody is screwed.  It’s just that some folks are screwed worse than others.
Even if Congress had not looted the Social Security Trust Fund to the tune of trillions, the entire system of SS/Medicare is unsustainable in the short term or the long term.  Not only is it destined to crash and burn because that’s the only possible outcome for any Ponzi scheme, the human misery of it all will be agonizing beyond belief. 
The politicians are always busy concocting pie in the sky fixes for the messes they create.  In the case of SS/Medicare the politicos have seized on the idea to add another 100 or 200 million folks on top of our existing population.  There’s only one problem.  Most of the third world immigrants who are brought here to work and fund SS are entitlement dependent themselves and consume far more in benefits than they will ever pay in taxes.   These are folks who tend not to pay any federal taxes anyway and actually receive thousands of dollars annually from the Earned Income Tax Credit and other entitlements.
Because SS and Medicare have been institutionalized as something sacred and because seniors are a hugely reliable voting block of folks that the politicians romance, nobody wants to tackle the immense systemic problems of SS and Medicare or the fact that it’s the financial rape of the low net worth poor to fund lavish subsidies to much higher net worth seniors.  Thankfully, folks are beginning to chirp in.  Economist Walter Williams took on the issue in a piece titled “What Handouts to Cut” and said “According to the Census, around 80 percent of Americans 65 and older own their own homes compared to 43 percent under 35. Twenty-three million households, or 37 percent of all homeowners, own their homes free and clear, and most of these are seniors aged 65 and older. According to the Federal Reserve Board's 2007 "Survey of Consumer Finances," the median net worth of people 65 and over is $232,000, those under 35 years have a net worth of $12,000 and for those 35–44, it's $87,000.
For good reason, older people have accumulated more wealth than younger people; the primary reason is that they've had more time to do it. There is no logical case that can be made for using the tax system to force Americans with less wealth to subsidize those with more wealth. But it's not clear who is subsidizing whom. Consider an elderly widow, say 70-years-old, with a modest retirement income of $18,000 living in a $300,000 house that's fully paid for. She might receive local property tax forgiveness, medical and prescription drug subsidies and other federal, state and local subsidies based upon her age and income….. Only 50 percent of young people vote, but up to 70 percent of seniors vote.”
Williams raises perfectly valid issues and he also got a ton of hate mail over the piece he wrote that disclosed the truth.  Karl Denninger took the issue to new heights when he wrote in a piece titled “Here Come the Lies (Social Security)” that “a black male has a life expectancy (as of 2007, at birth) of 68.8 years.  A white woman has a life expectancy of 81 years.
So a black man could be expected to live 3.8 years post-retirement at 65.  A white woman, 16 years.  Put another way, if a white woman and a black man have exactly the same earnings history in their lifetime, the white woman will receive 4.21 times the Social Security "income" as will the black man.
(Incidentally, if you're a native-American man you're in worse shape than the black man - the only ethnic group that is.)
Those who want to talk about Social Security's purposes never want to discuss this little bit of rather intentional and institutionalized racism.”
Precisely because SS is substantially a poor man’s tax and the biggest tax paid by many, it is grossly inequitable.  SS is only paid on wages earned up to $106,800 but rich trust fund babies and those who have high levels of unearned income are exempt from paying any SS tax.  Financial guru John Hussman caught a lot of attention when he recommended “Drop the rate substantially, but include all income – wage and non-wage. Three-quarters of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than in income taxes. By reducing the wedge between the hourly amount earned by employees and the hourly cost paid by employers, this strategy would create immediate incentives for employment. Moreover, it would raise more revenue because at present, even Warren Buffett only pays Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 of income.”
Hussman’s solution would work wonders for raising SS revenues, helping the economy recover and putting more disposable income into the hands of ordinary Americans.  However, so long as the thieving and grubby fingers of Congress Critters insist on pilfering SS, there are no reforms that will ever work to render it financially sound and/or solvent.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Campaign for Liberty survey questions for congressional candidates

Complete Survey Questions

1. Will you cosponsor and call for roll call votes on Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill, designed to bring transparency to the Federal Reserve (H.R. 1207/ S. 604 in the 111th Congress)?

2. Will you support legislation removing capital gains and sales taxes on gold and silver coinage?

3. Will you vote to oppose any legislation that allows the federal government to prohibit the sale, use, or carrying of firearms?

4. Will you support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that includes hard spending limits and allows for no increase in taxes or other federal revenue enhancements?

5. Will you support legislation that forbids U.S. troops from serving under United Nations command?

6. Do you support and will you vote to protect states asserting their rights under the Tenth Amendment?

7. Will you oppose Big Labor's Card Check bill and any other legislation designed to empower union bosses?

8. Do you support U.S. withdrawal from the United Nations?

9. Will you support the American Sovereignty Act to restrict the Executive's ability to forge international agreements that lessen our sovereignty?

10. Will you oppose using U.S. forces to occupy a foreign nation without a declaration of war?

11. Will you oppose any attempt to nationalize our health care system, including any sort of public option for insurance?

12. Will you oppose so-called "Cap and Trade" legislation?

13. Will you vote to eliminate the IRS?

14. Will you vote against any budget that increases our debt?

15. Will you oppose federal power grabs like roving wiretaps and warrantless searches, and oppose Patriot Act renewal that includes such items?

16. Will you oppose any legislation that requires states and citizens to participate in a National Identification Card program?

17. Will you oppose the so-called "NAFTA Superhighway" and any move toward a North American Union?

18. Will you support legislation that ensures Members of Congress have at least 72 hours to read any bill before it is allowed to come to the House floor?

19. Will you oppose all tax increases?

20. Indicate the tax cuts you are willing to vote for:
  • Across the Board Income Tax Cut
  • Capital Gains Tax Cut
  • Business Tax Cut
  • Estate Tax Cut