End Social Security, Medicare, and the Welfare-Warfare State!

Date: 11/08/2010

Reject the Welfare/Warfare State

by Ron Paul

Last week’s midterm elections have been characterized as a victory for grassroots Americans who are fed up with Washington and the political status quo. In particular, the elections are being touted as a clear indicator that voters demand reductions in federal spending, deficits, and debt.

If the new Congress hopes to live up to the expectations of Tea Party voters, however, it faces some daunting choices. For all the talk about pork and waste, the truth is that Congress cannot fix the budget and get our national debt under control by trimming fat and eliminating earmarks for “Bridges to Nowhere.”

Real reductions in federal spending can be achieved only by getting to the meat of the federal budget, meaning expenditures in all areas. The annual budget soon will be $5 trillion unless Congress takes serious steps to reduce spending for entitlements, military, and debt service. Yet how many Tea Party candidates who campaigned on a platform of spending cuts talked about Social Security, Medicare, foreign wars, or bond debt?

With regard to entitlements, the 2010 Social Security and Medicare Trustees report tells it all. It paints a stark picture of two entitlement programs that cannot be sustained under even the rosiest scenarios of economic growth. No one, regardless of political stripe, can deny the fundamental problem of unfunded future liabilities in both programs.

We should understand that Social Security was intended primarily to prevent old widows from becoming destitute. Life expectancy in 1935 was only about 65, when there were several workers for each Social Security recipient. The program was never intended to be a general transfer payment from young workers to older retirees, regardless of those retirees’ financial need. Yet today Social Security faces an unfunded liability of approximately $18 trillion.

First, Congress needs to stop using payroll taxes for purposes not related to Social Security, which was a trick the Clinton administration used to claim balanced budgets. Second, Congress should eliminate unconstitutional spending – including unnecessary overseas commitments – and use the saved funds to help transition to a Social Security system that is completely voluntary. At some point in the near future Congress must allow taxpayers to opt out of federal payroll taxes in exchange for never receiving Social Security benefits.

Medicare similarly faces a shortfall of $30.8 trillion in unfunded future benefits. The Part D prescription drug benefit accounts for approximately $15.5 trillion, or half of the unfunded Medicare liability. Congress should immediately repeal the disastrous drug benefit passed in 2003 by President Bush and a Republican Congress.

Fiscal conservatives should not be afraid to attack entitlements philosophically. We should reject the phony narrative that entitlement programs are inherently noble or required by “progressive” western values. Why exactly should Americans be required, by force of taxation, to fund retirement or medical care for senior citizens, especially senior citizens who are comfortable financially? And if taxpayers provide retirement and health care benefits to some older Americans who are less well off, can’t we just call it welfare instead of maintaining the charade about “insurance” and “trust funds”?

Military spending and interest on the national debt similarly represent large federal expenditures that Congress must address by rethinking our foreign policy and exercising far greater oversight over the Federal Reserve and the Treasury department.

I have for a long time criticized our interventionist foreign policy and the Fed, and I will continue to do so. It’s time for Congress to face the fundamental problems that affect Social Security and Medicare, and show the courage necessary to make real changes to both programs by rejecting the welfare/warfare state.


  • Neil

    End the warfare state not the welfare state

    aside from that as an individual who has paid in approx 15,ooo a year for 20 years and 10,ooo for and 10 and 7000 for another 10 years\
    Ron Paul can pay me back my pay ins of 470,00o k in addition i will work until 70 and expect to pay in another 150,000 that puts me at 620,000

    I want my damn money back Randy, get it?

  • As stated above Social Security recipients ‘may’ receive ‘4’ times the amount paid in prior to eligibility for benifits. Nowhere do I see anything that takes into account the inflation (theft by government) factor over time. What about the fact that the government, ingeniously, placed the SS receipts into the general fund thereby being able to use this money for “everything” their little hearts desired. They knew that the actuarial tables would allow the government to have access to incredible sums of money. Now that this is no longer the case we get kicked out of bed!! Change will come through one of two ways 1. A thoughtful valid process or 2. System collapse

  • I am on SSI for disability.

  • I am on SSI for disability.

  • brian

    I am disabled because I was injured in the military fighting for my country. I recieve no VA benefits as I was not in combat when the final blow came, but I can barly walk now. I am 30, I am working on disability case but only plan for a short time. The time is to get the medical treatment I can not afford to fix my injury so I can return back to work. I do NOT want a lifetime of it, I would be disgusted with myself if I did. I just need a chance to fix my spinal injuries that cause increadable pain that is barly covered by a daily amount of pills that wouls kill three strong men. Some people do need this help, but there are so many that take advantage of the system. Or just because you move to America you are given money to start a business and are given medical care even though you entered this country illegally. That is the issue that needs to change. We would be able to help the Americans that needed it if we stoped giving the hard earned money of tax payers to countrys that hate us, Bring the troops out of the countrys from WWII, let Isreal take care of themselves they have their own army and government. Once a government offical leaves office their health care should no longer be free. Pay those who work for congress less money. I thought they were in it to make a change in the world, to work for the people not the dollar. Recently there was a shortage of much needed cancer killing drugs were nowhere to be found because only one plant made them because the profit margen was not there. KIDS WERE DIEING BECAUSE IT DID NOT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO JUSTIFY MAKING THE DRUG! these are the things that would help if changed. Its not about taking money from plate one to plate two because plate two is next in line. It needs to be about helping those who need it, not because you don’t want to fight for freesom in the military or work where you can. But to help those who need it, work with them on a timeline to make the changes needed to be free form government help. For example I plan to have surgery to fix my buldging disks, spinal stenosis, fix the GI issues caused from a football sized tumor being removed from my abdomin and the seven feet of intestine from large and small. I will not be on for life, my plan is two years tops. Then back to work and back to paying back into the system.

  • The World Health Organization’s ranking
    of the world’s health systems.
    1 France
    2 Italy
    3 San Marino
    4 Andorra
    5 Malta
    37 United States of America
    All top 5 countries have universal healthcare.

  • Leolistens

    Ron Paul, if you are ever reading this at all, I have a question. I understand your point about entitlements such as Social Security, however I have never heard you state just exactly how you would go about salvaging it except to throw out the baby with the bath water. How would you handle all the seniors that cannot work and need assistance for food, clothing, and shelter???

    What about all the disabled?? Where would the money come from ? Should we just throw them out into the streets to beg??? Please!!…. just advise us so, that we can make an intelligent vote.

  • The first thing would be to get millionaires off Social Security. I know a lady that was sick, came into millions, sitting in the bank, Medicare paying her bills. He used benfits for 2 years, died a millionaire. Just NUTS! If they paid into the system, give millionaires their money back but NO MEDICARE!

  • Actually it is. A Ponzi Scheme is a system that is set up for people to make money on the top. That isn’t Social Security, That is Private Insurance.

  • Actually, it isn’t!

  • Actually, it isn’t!