Duped by Congressional Lies


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Here’s my question to those who protest that their Social Security checks are not handouts: Seeing as Congress has not “set up a Social Security account for you” containing your 45 years’ worth of Social Security contributions, where does the money you receive come from? I promise you it is not Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. The only way Congress can give one American a dollar is to first take it from some other American. Congress takes the earnings of a person who’s currently in the workforce to give to a Social Security recipient. The sad fact of business is that Social Security recipients want their monthly check and couldn’t care less about who has to pay. That’s a vision shared by thieves who want something; the heck with who has to pay for it.

Then there’s the fairness issue that we’re so enamored with today. It turns out that half the federal budget is spent on programs primarily serving senior citizens, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But let’s look at a few comparisons between younger Americans and older Americans. More than 80 percent of those older than 65 are homeowners, and 66 percent of them have no mortgage. Homeownership is at 40 percent for those younger than 35, and only 12 percent own their home free and clear of a mortgage. The average net worth of people older than 65 is about $230,000, whereas that of those younger than 35 is $10,000. There’s nothing complicated about this; older people have been around longer. But what standard of fairness justifies taxing the earnings of workers who are less wealthy in order to pass them on to retirees who are far wealthier? There’s no justification, but there’s an explanation. Those older than 65 vote in greater numbers and have the ear of congressmen.

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  • Amused

    Well then Williams , one could say the same about your IRA . Calling SS a "handout " is TYPICAL REPOCON BULLSHEET .. a setup to legitimize the republican notion that they can make cuts to that program based on another LIE . SS is an insurance annuity that all who participate in , are paid according to their contributions ….and YES , the participants ARE entitled to collect at retirement . The rules are fair , as making over a stated amount in earned income after one signs up will reduce payments to the individual which is also fair . If SS is under funded it is due directly from government "borrowing from those funds , and at present , that is to the tune of $1 trillion dollars .
    You've got rocks in your head Williams.

    • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

      Amused: I think you miss Professor Williams' point: SS is NOT an insurance annuity because the federal government decided that it shouldn't be. Not that Williams is FOR SS in the first place, but I hazard to guess that if we HAVE to be burdened with it, his thinking is that it is much preferrable that it be deemed to be an insurance annuity that we can all have property rights in rather than a scheme that resembles a non-vested "tax" with which the federal government can do anything with.

      And unlike what you write above, the rules are NOT fair which is precisely the argument Williams is attempting to make.

      • Amused

        "with which the federal giovernment can do anything with " ? -and therein lies the problems created with the SSA . People try to redefine SS for the sake of their own political agendas . "non-vested tax " ? Do you know what you're taking about ? I think not . I lknow what I'm talking about and I have not missed the "alleged " Professors point . SS was created by actuaries and economists who were a helluva lot smarter than "the professor "{ and a helluva lot smarter than most of these so called wanna bee economists spouting off today . } SSA funding would not be in any distress if those funds were left alone and not shifted to various political chicanery . Williams can go pound salt as well as any of his defenders .

        • Don Kosloff

          Where is your evidence that SS was created by actuaries and economists? Not that economists can be trusted. I believe it was President Truman who wanted a one-armed economist. When SS was created as a forced savings plan, the retirement age was 65 and life expectancy was 63. When life expectancy increased to 70 years, the retirement age remained at 65. Have an actuary explain how that works.

    • triper57

      I guess you need to reed the Supreme Court decision in Fleming v. Nestor. A small excerpt is provided.

      "2. A PERSON COVERED BY THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT HAS NOT SUCH A RIGHT IN OLD-AGE BENEFIT PAYMENTS AS WOULD MAKE EVERY DEFEASANCE OF "ACCRUED" INTERESTS VIOLATIVE OF THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE OF THE FIFTH AMENDMENT. PP. 608-611.

      (A) THE NONCONTRACTUAL INTEREST OF AN EMPLOYEE COVERED BY THE ACT CANNOT BE SOUNDLY ANALOGIZED TO THAT OF THE HOLDER OF AN ANNUITY, WHOSE RIGHTS TO BENEFITS ARE BASED ON HIS CONTRACTUAL PREMIUM PAYMENTS. PP. 608-610.

      (B) TO ENGRAFT UPON THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM A CONCEPT OF "ACCRUED PROPERTY RIGHTS" WOULD DEPRIVE IT OF THE FLEXIBILITY AND BOLDNESS IN ADJUSTMENT TO EVER-CHANGING CONDITIONS WHICH IT DEMANDS AND WHICH CONGRESS PROBABLY HAD IN MIND WHEN IT EXPRESSLY RESERVED THE RIGHT TO ALTER, AMEND OR REPEAL ANY PROVISION OF THE ACT. PP. 610-611."

      • Amused

        lol….I think you had better sharpen your reading comprehension skills .The very ruling CONTRADICTS , the point you are attempting to make . Not to mention , the analogy is totally irrelevant to the "faux argument " that Williams is spouting . LOL…. a deported communist demanding SS benefits that the person paid into for 19 years , and then denied by lawmaker is hardly an "honest " example . Your argument here and the example you cite ….is a joke .

        • triper57

          No, you better sharpen your reading skills. The court is saying that SS is tax, not insurance. That benefits are completely at the whim of Congress. That is not the description of an annuity contract between the government and the tax payers in the SS act. As far as this being MY OPINION, hardly. This is the opinion of the SS bureaucracy, as it is cited by the government on the SS web site as the reason that you have no financial basis in the scheme. Williams point is that we have been duped since its inception into believing that SS is a retirement system that we can count on for ever increasing benefits to meet the changing needs in retirement. In reality SS is a tax and the benefits for the recipients are wholly at the mercy of the Congress. Next year Congress could declare that you must be 75 to claim benefits and your benefit will be capped at $1000 or eliminated completely if you don't need the financial support. Hardly the description of an annuity or IRA. Why not change the SS system so that your and your employers contributions go into an account in your name. When you die any left over amount is distributed into your heirs accounts. Take the money and the administrative costs away from the government. How many private companies have survived a pension system like the Union and government systems. I think their survival is an exception not the rule. And what happens to those pensioners when the system collapses?

          Society cannot guarantee your financial security. Only you can.

    • ebonystone

      Amused, you are truly amusing!
      If SS payments are truly an investment like an IRA. 401-k, or life insurance annuity, why is the gummint allowed to keep all your payments into the system if you die young, either before collecting more than a few month's benefits, or before collecting any at all? If I die tomorrow, everything that I've put into my IRA will go to my heirs. But they'll get nothing from all my (and my employer's) payments into the SS system. My IRA is my property, my SS "account" is not.
      Plus the gummint can change the rules at any time, and indeed has done so several times. For one thing, they have jacked up the required contribution rate many times: it was 2% to begin with, now it's 7.65%. With my IRA or 401-k, I decide how much to put into it; with SS I have no choice. Also the required age for "full" benefits has been raised, and will likely be raised again.

  • oldtimer

    Government has consistently raped SS fund to put to their use. The Obama administration wants to help students pay off their loans and lower the interest rates on loan and guess where he intends to get the money,,,,you guessed it, from Socia Security fund…(60 Plus Assoc)

  • davarino

    I hate the government. Or maybe its just politicians I hate, or both ahhhhhhhh

    What ever it is, you better be saving for retirement and keep yourself healthy

  • Paul J. Henry

    It is totally unfair for the government to "borrow" funds from the SS Account and then argue that SS recipients are on the "dole". Chile set up a system that invested the contributions of workers rather than "borrowing" them; and it is my understanding that workers in Chile fare far better than retirees in the U.S.

    • Amused

      You got that right Paul J. Henry , but remember , your dealing with the repocon mindset . Whatever the government does that dont make the rich , richer , is a handout , socialism ,marxism etc . Republicabns today are a bunch of brain SCRUBBED DOLTS .

  • Skyman

    As I understand it, payments into the system are anuitized to life expectancy and it functions correctly. However, payments for other programs never intended for the system are breaking it. How much are they worth?

    • Amused

      about $ 1 trillion .

    • Don Kosloff

      Payments into the system are determined by political expediency as are the payments. They SS program was a fraud at inception.

  • Thomas Collins

    A whle back, local law enforcement agencies got together to do something about outstanding warrants. They decided to send postcards to the last known addresses, telling recipients they had won a plasma TV in a drawing. As the respondents showed up and presented their IDs, they were arrested and led away. One asked the cop who was escoting him to jail, "Do I still get my TV"? You know it's a con game when you CAN'T BELIEVE what's happening. We've been conned.

    • Amused

      yea you been "conned " by the likes of Williams . Pretty juvenile analogy ….btw ….lol….did you get your tv ?

      • Thomas Collins

        .did you get your tv ?

        Read it again…there was never a TV…just as there was never a social security fund, it's all from general funds

  • Choi

    Social Security is NOT Welfare.
    Social Security has been funded by INVOLUNTARY PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS and MANDATED Payments by those who are Business Owners and/or Self-Employed.
    The Baby Boomer Generation has been paying into Social Security since the 1960's,and now that they're getting into collecting their benefits,these younger SELFISH "contributors" want to STRIP them of what they have contributed to.
    These SELFISH INGRATES don't even realize(or want to) that if not for their Boomer parents ,they wouldn't even be here.
    As for their student loans,THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM,NOT Social Security Recipients'.
    It's between them and their "lenders" and if anybody is left "holding the bag" ,that's their Lenders' RISK!

    • Skyman

      As I said before. You are focused on the wrong thing. Congress took the money and spent it on other stuff. The idea medicare and medicaid paid for themselves is nonsense. Never did! And social security was based on a given average life which is increasing way above plan (because of all those medicare payments :) ) If you want it to be there at all you have to kill off a lot of us or you have to stretch the money some way. Anyway you slice it someone is going to pay.

    • Guest

      Oh. And by the way, If it wasn't for your parents you wouldn't be here. Problem solved.

    • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

      "younger selfish contributors"?

      Hmmm.

      How about trying THIS on for size: seniors have, more than any other demographic in the United States, been around to benefit from and vote into office politicians who have continuously racked up deficit-spending debt that the younger people will be burdened with LONG after said seniors are dead and buried.

    • Amused

      Oh what a schmuck you are choi , it's just too , too , bad that stupidity isn't a painful thing .

    • Don Kosloff

      Although I am 65, I realized that SS was a political fraud about ten years ago. The BEST that can be said for it now is that it is a welfare system, which is what you described.

    • ebonystone

      "Social Security is NOT Welfare. "

      Maybe not entirely, since one has to have paid something into the system in order to get any benefits; but there is a large welfare component involved. Consider this example: A and B both graduate from college at age 22, get jobs and pay into SS for 40 years, then retire. A always made a salary that was at or above the SS earnings cut-off, and B always earned exactly 1/2 that. So A paid twice as much into the system as B; so A gets twice the benefits, right? Wrong! Based on some numbers I plugged into the benefits calculator, B gets about 70% as much. So what is that extra 20%, if not welfare?

  • Bobby195

    Mr. Williams: I have always thought the world of you but this column makes me wonder where in the hell you get the idea that SS, MC and MCaid is a handout. I was self self employed for many years so I not only had the pleasure of paying my SS, etc. I also paid the employer portion also. Over the years it sometimes became a real financial burden to shell out this money quarter after quarter, but my accountant told me that if it was a matter of eating or paying my taxes, choose the taxes. This government took money out of my paycheck for Federal Withholding, SS(employer & employee portions), Medicare, Workman's Compensation and Federal Unemployment for years and years with no option to opt out of anyone of these programs.
    Part 2 below

    • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

      Bobby195 asks:

      "where in the hell you get the idea that SS, MC and MCaid is a handout."

      It's not Williams' "idea"; it is due to the two rulings by the Supreme Court. I dare say he is on YOUR side in this.

      Don't kill the messenger because he is telling you the unhappy truth.

  • Bobby195

    Part 2
    Then at the end of the year I had the esteemed pleasure of paying more income tax if God forbid I actually made a profit. The IRS can and will confiscate your personal property and freeze your assets as well as your checking and savings accounts if you refuse to pay your taxes. This can and will be done at the point of a gun if deemed necessary. _If the government chose to piss this money away then they can dam well come up with a way to fix the problem and pay me the benefits that I personally paid for and am "entitled" to.

  • baileyjer

    I concur with Bobby195. I'll add that I've always considered SS to be another insurance policy, albeit one I had no option as to whether I wanted to buy. Like an insurance company, the government is betting that you/your spouse will die before you've reached the amount of $$ you've paid. I also agree with other posters that the politicians screwed the pooch and robbed the system for their selfish careerist aspirations. Currently, the SS rolls are replete with faux disabled recipients, etc. The system can be fixed, if true measures are undertaken to clean out the bilge. I'm a fan, Dr. Williams, but we're simply looking at these programs from different perspectives – and yours is not the only correct one.

    • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

      baileyjer writes:

      "I'm a fan, Dr. Williams, but we're simply looking at these programs from different perspectives – and yours is not the only correct one."

      But it is the one that the Supreme Court adheres to…and, as a result, that the laws of the United States adheres to.

      Don't get the idea that Williams likes the fact that SS is just another tax and just another government benefit/handout that, at the whim of Congress, can be withdrawn at any time. That's the reality of the situation. As you write, you've "always considered SS to be another insurance policy." And, as Williams documented, that is how the SS Administration wants you to think of it. But the unpleasant reality is that it is NOT an insurance scheme but one of taxation with virtually ZERO obligation on the part of the federal government to pay you one red cent.

      You've been had. Williams is just pointing it out to ya.

      • baileyjer

        Tony,

        I understand what you're saying, but we're just talking past each other. We're both agreeing that the politicos have screwed us. No argument, here!

  • Mary

    Walter Williams, ordinarily your commentaries are a home run but I think you have an error on this one. Most seniors I know haven't got a pot to piss in. I happen to be one of them. You cut me to the quick here.

    • http://www.whycanadamustend.com Tony Kondaks

      Mary,

      The following is a link to Fleming v. Nestor at Wiki, which Williams cites as one of the two landmark cases that determined Social Security's status as a tax scheme and NOT as one with vested property rights.

      Read it and weep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flemming_v._Nestor

  • Amused

    It's all a bunch of repocon BALONEY , YES , anyone who "cashes in " on theitr SS benefit , is TOTALLY ENTITLED TO DO SO , without any half-assssed criticism from know nothing naysayers .You are paid according to the quarters in which you were legally employed .You paid into this sysytem and it IS your money .Cut the crap about who's greedy and who's not , you collect at 62 , andf there ain't a DAMN THING WRONG OR GREEDY ABOUT THAT . If you wait till age 70 you get a higher rate because you have worked that much more quarters . Republican Conservative DIATRIBES and RHETORIC like this is exactly why you guys [like Williams ] STINK .
    Save your biased partisan BULLSHHEEET Williams .SS if LEFT ALONE will do just fine ….and YEA MAN , ITIS MY RIOGHT , and that's NOT a lie as you so deceptively state . Another bloody revisionist , just what we all need . Go fly a kite Williams !!

  • Beatrix

    If your money is paying our Social Security, didn't our money pay someone else's retirement when we worked? Remember, you don't get Social Security unless you work.

    Instead of trying to make us feel like criminals for accepting a system that we were told would be in place when we retired, and attacking us when many of us are too old and sick to work, why don't you come up with a better, fairer system for your generation instead of writing a self-pitying, pathetic, whining article about mine?

    • Amused

      Beatrix , it's just another Conservative , showing his teeth . Just bring up "corporate welfare " ,and they'll start wringing their hands and shed real live tears for the moguls .

  • Beatrix

    If your money is paying our Social Security, didn't our money pay someone else's retirement when we worked? Remember, you don't get Social Security unless you work.

    Instead of trying to make us feel like criminals for accepting a system that we were told would be in place when we retired, and attacking us when many of us are too old and sick to work, why don't you come up with a better, fairer system for your generation instead of writing a self-pitying, pathetic, whining article about mine?

  • SKIP

    I think SS IS a right, the gubmint has taken hundreds of dollars a month from me for more than 40 years and is now GIVING it away to ILLEGAL ALIENS, Africans and other muslims that come (or we bring them) to America as “refugees” and right away there are organizations set up to tell them how to get all the freebies they came to America fo, including SS “benefits” having never paid anything into it, same as my bank letting other people write checks on my accounts. I could do much better with my money if my own damned government hadn’t taken it from me by force of law. Julius Caesar said, “Caesar makes law, but the ARMY makes it legal”

  • Amused

    If he governmemnt is giving away money to illegals DONT BLAME THAT ON SSA . If you've never paid into the system you dont get paid by the system .It's as simple as that . Get it into your thick skulls , that SS pays according to the quarters you worked LEGALLY , that is the time you worked and SS was deducted from your paycheck . DUH……that's why you need an SS number . This "new criticism " of SSA is just another creation of the GOP , but when these politicvians get out in public aside from simpleton editorials like this one , they are strangely silent …lol…even Teaparty members want their SS payments when they reach retirement age . This is just more of the Reo/Con political memes , that are parroted by the mindless non-thinkers .

  • Amused

    ….and of course the Repocons would love to change it , making it a "private 401 k and present it as a gift tobthe Casino on Wall Street , which would just have more "gambling money " . Who are you people kidding . In fact that notion has already been attempted , but sane minds prevailed .

  • Peter M. Clarke

    Dr. Williams,

    If the SSA does not recognize SocSec payments as belonging to the individual contributors, and not taxes to be paid into the Treasury, why is there a Social Security Trust Fund, holding 2.7 trillion dollars?

    I know this has been spent long ago.

  • Amused

    Man , all Wiiliams is doing is an exercise in Republican Blather . ….its the ord.er of the day .Pich it as a handout , and that "redmeat ' will get the dogs'a ' runnin " .A RepoCon setup to give more tax breaks to the wealthy , [who seem to be the recipients pf some heavy REPOCON arse-licking] and thus make up the difference by cutting SS .First deigrate it , call it a ponzi scheme , portray everyone as "duped " and set up the atmosphere to attack SS , and the real dupes , of which there is no shortage amongst Republican and Conservative voting bases, will set out to cut their own throats . This whole article is nothing but partisan BULLSHEET and Wiliams KNOWS IT .
    "Professor " my asssss ! .

  • Flowerknife_us

    right now the Government is not collecting SS monies from the individuals earnings. They called it a Tax Break. Given that the SS(un)trust fund is projected to become insolvent in the near term future. Just how does one expect to get paid their benifits?

    No doubt that everyone not currently paying into SS is socking away that % on their own for a future retirement.

  • Amused

    I guess you're not working for a living …..,.just look at your pay stub .Flowerknife_us YOU are one of the dolts I was talking about . But it takes the ignorant to make people like "the professor " here , look intelligent. I would argue this point with you , but by your above statement , I reckon you're just too uninformed or too brainwashed to understand anything said to you anyway . You don't know what you're talking about , and thjats becvause what you say is what you hear and then parreot the words . Good luck ….you're gonna need it .

  • ebonystone

    Well, Professor Williams, I think that many of the comments here just prove the old adage: "there are none so blind as those who WILL NOT SEE."

  • Amused

    If that's not sarcasm ebonystone , all I can then you just go follow the ..er …professor down the rabbit hole .What you are blind to , is William's agenda .

  • Amused

    …that is – all I can say is , you just go follow the professor down the rabbit hole , and whatever pit he leads you into .

    • ebonystone

      There is an "edit" function; you don't have to post a separate corrected version.
      And I was not being sarcastic.

      • Amused

        If that wasn't a sarcasm then I gess that's on you chump . LOL…wear your hat proudly [dunces cap ] People like Williams are depending on your ignorance .

  • Tanstaafl

    Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  • Amused

    That's right , it runs through this website like a rapids , fueled by feeder streams called revisionism , propaganda rhetoric and partisan lies . Hope you got your life jacket on , else you drown in your own bullsheeet .

  • Amused

    Williams example should alert anyone with a thinking brain , exactly what it is he's up to .Fleming vs Nestor ???