Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Dark Humor Behind Social Security

Dave Splash over at The Dark Stuff has posted what I imagine he thought to be an amusing and ironic political cartoon.  See below.

While there is indeed some truth to the cartoon, I find it even more ironic that the whole idea of social security was envisioned and implemented by our big brother government to protect us from ourselves by MAKING us set aside some of our own salaries so that we could care for ourselves in our old age when we retired and could or would no longer work, regardless if we wanted that money withdrawn from our paychecks or not. 

The fact that Social Security is slated to be bankrupt soon if nothing is done to alter it from its current path ( a problem that most politicians of all political stripes are loathe to try and address ) is quite ironic and darkly humorous in and of itself.  I have no delusions that the money that has been confiscated from me over the years will be returned in the form of a monthly retirement social security check in twenty years when I am of retirement age.  That simply is very unlikely to ever happen.

The true irony is that our paternalistic government was trying to protect us from ourselves and has ultimately robbed us of of our money because they were irresponsible in caring for the taxpayers' dollars while trying to teach us to be responsible.  That is what is sadly funny to me.


Dave Splash said...

I will comment here with the same comment I made over at Dark Stuff:

"Couple of facts needs to be interjected into your diatribe. First off, Social Security is not, in any way, bankrupt. There is enough money to pay full benefits to all eligible people (without a need to alter anything) until 2037. At that time, there will be more recipients than people putting in to the program, so some minor adjustments will need to made. The scare tactics about Social Security only work on people who don't know better.

The need for the program is undeniable. You clearly have no sense of history if you don't remember the massive number of Seniors thrown into poverty, which necessitated the program in the first place.

But hey, maybe American seniors should have followed the "conservative" plan, and invested Social Security money in the stock market instead. We should allow our grandparents to suffer when the market tanks and loses 40% of its value in one day. Great idea."

Now when will you righties stop denying that ending Social Security is on your agenda? Every single tea party/Republican candidate says the same thing you do, yet denies their ultimate goal of ending the program. Let's have a little intellectual honesty in the debate from the right.

Dave Splash said...

To me, the funniest thing about the cartoon was what it said about the hypocrisy from the tea party. Here is this guy dressed in his tea party approved 1700's outfit, rambling on about government spending and the like (as his wife sarcastically points out), yet he is so eager to get that Social Security check.

If that doesn't sum up the true nature of the tea party, nothing does.

T. Paine said...

Dave, I already acknowledged in my original posting that some self-avowed Tea Party supporters were indeed hypocritical in some aspects.

That being said, I do not know from where you get your data regarding social security. Where there used to be a 20 to 1 ratio of "contributors" to "retirees" that ratio has fallen far closer to 3 to 1 these days.

With the looming retirement of the huge amount of people of the baby boomer generation, this will only get worse in the coming years.

Even most main stream Democrats acknowledge the pending bankruptcy of social security if let unchecked.

While I don't advocate the government mandating us to placing our money in the stock market either, you are missing the point.

The point is the government should have no say in "making" us save our money any more so than they should be able to tell us not to smoke or eat trans-fats. It should be a matter of personal responsibility and not government dictate, sir.

Dave Splash said...

I hope your side will be honest in the upcoming elections and just admit that you want to abolish Social Security. Just say so. Stop masking it in the pretend nonsense that the right wants to "save" it.

I think voters (especially seniors and those approaching seniorhood) have a right to know that the Republican Tea Party's agenda includes abolishing Social Security.

T. Paine said...

I don't know about "my side" but I personally (in a perfect America) would never have instituted Social Security as it is NOT the government's job to protect us from ourselves.

Further, I would indeed be for the repealing of it so that American's can do with THEIR own money as they see fit. This would necessarily require a long transition time though so as not to disrupt seniors and those about to retire that are dependent upon that income that was taken from them.

I doubt seriously that the GOP or even most Tea Partiers would support my position on this though.

It doesn't really matter though, as I am sure the honest Democrats wouldn't dream of saying that conservatives want to kill social security simply to scare seniors... again.

Dave Splash said...

Considering that most high profile Republicans in leadership and most top tea party candidates are all in favor of abolishing social security, I think the Republican Tea Party is being dishonest by not putting that into their manifesto.

Though I'm not exactly surprised that conservatives are hiding their true motives. It's been par for the course for the last 40 years of conservatism.

T. Paine said...

Splash, that simply isn't true. The GOP has had leaders that have wanted to reform social security so that it would be solvent, but I have never heard any serious comments or debates about actually abolishing it.

Frankly, as you now have people absolutely dependent upon it for their survival, one could not simply abolish it without hurting a lot of people.

It does need to be fixed now, and it should never have been created in the first place by government, but as the saying goes... there is nothing so much like immortality as a government program.