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.


  • john5246

    what a joke our political system is…

    The republican’s won’t go after medicare part D but they seem to have no problem going after anything that is “obama”

    These things are not going to be cut, they will be pushed further down the road until the whole system collapses.

  • chorizo1337

    Seriously why does noone talk about wellfare in the military? They pay you more per month for how many kids you have. Also the government subsidizes you to get married. Prostitution anyone?

  • Disaboo

    While I appreciate the emotion that is going through these discussions – it hardly comprises the pain in this country. Some people have, and will always, take advantage of government programs. There are not the mainstream. The people who are taking advantage of the “disabled” are the government/medical/welfare/”nonprofit/scammer cartel. Get the fraud and the outrageous profit out of the system!

    I can’t see any reason to keep up the wars, except to employ our children – which is no excuse.

  • mjwander1

    ron paul for the new house speaker

  • drifterted

    Social Security is nothing more than a tax now. I want to opt out, and they can keep al they have stolen from me so far.

  • kiltyoposse

    STEAL IT ALL ron paul YOU NEO-CON !

  • C_Miller

    Why aren’t the different agencies stepping up with voluntary reductions? The only one I know of so far is Gates and there was all kinds of food fighting over that. Seems to me that the smart bureaucrats will come forward with their own cuts before someone has to make the decision for them. At least then they would have some control…

    • C_Miller

      In fact, Gates proposed $100 Billion in reductions (if memory serves). If each agency did the same thing, they would knock out the easy stuff right there. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of them have already done the same thing internally. In other words, they already know what they are willing to part with.

      • C_Miller

        The agencies already know they are facing a showdown with Tea Party, seems to me that they would put together a list of things they can part with and hand it over. At least then Congress could have a relatively easy win for once.

        Maybe the Congress can just call for it.

  • Stepper11

    These three sacred cow social spending plans will not be touched until there is litterally no way to make the payments. Borrowing, printing, and other forms of shell games will ultimately come to an end. But not until we hit the terminal wall. Ron is right, but I think he underestimates the ability of people to delude themselves so long as they perceive a short term benefit to themselves.

  • Dfens

    I’d like to see Ron Paul hook up his call for an end to these unconstitutional programs (medicare and social security) and wars (no declaration by congress) with his call for repealing the 16th amendment (income tax) and the unconstitutional Internal Revenue Service. The 16th amendment authorized taxation “without apportionment”, which is the kind of legaleze crap they pulled to dupe US citizens into allowing the federal government an “income tax”, but it certainly does not authorize the IRS. By the 10th amendment the IRS is, therefore, wholly unconstitutional.

  • rebelq1

    Social Security is the largest Ponzi scheme ever!



  • SuspectD3vice

    I like when the text is also in the description, can you keep doing that?

  • FMChristain
  • william4art

    Coincidence? The only two people I would ever have voted for both have the initials R.P Ron Paul and Ross Perot..lol

  • katey1dog

    Dr. Paul is not demanding the end of Social Security and Medicare. He’s only pressing for a voluntary and individual choice for those wealthy men and women to opt out of these social welfare programs.

    That’s good. As he states, it’s designed to care for those people that can not care for themselves.

  • ElectroPaganAnon

    Ron, keep the logic coming…

    We love you!

  • MoreFunky420

    Please guys someone respond to this. I am a supporter of the Tea Party Movement, Im a member, and I support Ron Paul. But Im having trouble understanding the whole Social Security thing. I admit I know very little and need further education on the subject. I hear alot about doing away with SS but then I think about my mother and father who are both not getting younger, and both are nearly disabled. Im sure this is the case with many retired Americans. There has to be some plan for the elderly.

  • ExhibitMan


  • RemiG2006

    Reform Social Security NOW!

  • shroomingnewman

    ron paul pwns

  • SkyBlueAugust

    RON PAUL PLEASE……The Constitution does not authorizeSHEMTRAILS or NAKED BODY SCANNERS for travelers. Quite the opposite. “pursuit of happiness” “right to privacy” PLEASE UPHOLD THESE!
    REVEAL WHAT IS IN CHEMTRAILS and the AGENDA behind naked body scanners.