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How to Steal $2.5 Trillion

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Lately, we have been hearing about public policy regarding Social Security from elements of the Republican Party, ranging from the loudmouthed new Tea Partying Senate candidate from Alaska, Joe Miller, through self-styled "Young Gun" of the Party of No, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI1), to the erstwhile Senator from Wyoming, and noted cranky old buzzard, Alan Simpson. Each of them is advocating a public policy on Social Security insurance that is simply a plan for the heist of this or any other century, resulting in the theft of two and a half trillion of American working people's dollars.

Miller, recently cited in a three-car crash that he initiated by rear ending another motorist, is speaking in a way that seems to guarantee that he will eagerly continue his recklessness in the Senate, particularly with regard to rear ending. Ryan is the Congressional Republican voodoo economic witch doctor and wunderkind that John Boehner has tasked with engendering the fictions required to flesh out the Republicans' three blank page budget and economic plan as well as a sitting member of the President's commission on deficit reduction. Ex-senator, Alan Simpson, is the Co-chairman of the President's "bipartisan" commission on deficit reduction, who recently envisioned the American People's perception of Social Security as a "milk cow with 300 million t*ts". It remains difficult for us to determine how Senator Simpson could have spent his entire life (his father was governor of Wyoming and a Senator from Wyoming) with his face inseparably affixed to his personal government teat while his foot was so firmly planted in his mouth, but I guess this guy is still pretty spry despite his advanced age, which, by all indications, has carried him into his dotage.

They all have been holding forth on how the Social Security system is "broke" with mere "I.O.U.'s" for a trust fund; and how the government has no Constitutional business in compelling young people who don't know better, and TEA Partiers who will never know better, to pay into a system that doesn't pay off as well as a Wall Street crap shoot would, under ideal conditions, as far as they know.

The corporate media has been nodding in uncritical agreement, in a way meant to communicate that this is a wonderful new idea to painlessly deal with the looming default of the Government of the United States due to the irresponsible run up of thirteen and a half trillion dollars in debt by an unassisted Barack Hussein Obama.

The supposed object of the commission's exercise is the reduction of deficits and the national debt, but the fact is that Social Security has never contributed one thin dime to either the deficit or the national debt. In fact, Social Security, funded by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), has never failed to leave a positive balance (surplus) in any year since its inception in 1937.

Really, the only flaw in the Republican argument is that it is a cynical fiction, stem to stern, beam to beam, and all the way down to Davy Jones' Locker, which by the way, is our destination if we take that ride on the Republican crazy train. No, that's not a mixed metaphor; they actually intend to drive the Train of State to the bottom of the ocean.

In the best traditions of twenty-first century Republican thought, our three counselors of the right have eschewed actual thought in favor of parroting a September 2004 Heritage Foundation "Executive Memorandum" authored by David C. John, entitled, "Misleading the Public: How the Social Security Trust Fund Really Works". Characteristically for Republicans, it is what comes before the colon that they got right. What comes after the colon is what one might expect to find following a Republican colon.

In any event, the contents of this "Executive Memorandum" match the reasoning of the Miller-Ryan-Simpson trio point for point except for the part about Social Security being unconstitutional. One must assume that David C. John couldn't bring himself to make that claim, understanding that Article I, Section 8, clause one of the Constitution is sufficient to refute such nonsense.

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I am a lifelong resident of the Chicago suburbs, with a several year hiatus to serve in the Navy when my Vietnam era draft notice turned up. I had been told that guys with last names like mine were among the preferred cannon fodder in the Army, so (more...)
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