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.


  • GuruOnDuty

    I think Yor Ecnareves Is Much Better He will give us all Control of the Legislature & Congress Day 1 in the Whitehouse. Via Petition with your Vote. Look him up facebook Yor Ecnareves Yor Ecnareves on twitter and you tube. .Then he plans to Build a new UN for the People of all the Earth to vote on ending war & Climate issues & Freedoms Logic on the issues not spin.

  • RImusclebear

    Just cut out all welfare and food stamps, section 8 housing and free lunches for black children!

  • RImusclebear

    Just cut out all welfare and food stamps, section 8 housing and free lunches for black children!

  • Billy jackson

    This is theone thing i disagree with him over.Look ive payed into this system for 30yrs,If we could get politicians to leave the cookie jar alone,and pay back those IOUs instead of bailing out the banks,and pocketing half the money they apropreate for pet projects,their wouldnt be a shortfall,So we suposed to just take 30yrs of payments,and ruffly 20 more years and just say here ya go i expect nothing back.I dont think so.infact i see the whitehouse burning in my eyes,we need to expand medicade to the young so not only the sick participate,and trash the insurance compaNYS,BUT ENDING THE FED,REPEALING THE PATRIOT ACT,AND STRICKT CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS,AND EQUALITY FOR FATHES,I AM FOR.SO WE SUPOSED TO JUST KEEP LETTING THEM OFF THE HOOK OR WHAT?And lets get ridd of the illegals.

  • InspiredMuse74

    why does every party went to cut social security? There are people who are disabled and can’t work. Social Security needs to continue.

  • k9kmc


  • Glossika


  • marieshinesweet

    Oh by the way… lets just picture the day social security is out… lol … civil war this is my prediction … or better find bunkers to hide your precious jewels and yourself .. that means millions of people on the street starving … nonesense all is nonesense ..

  • marieshinesweet

    Social security and medicare??!!! Story goes back again and again of course … poors pay for the shit left by the superrrichhh.. those who of course pays genius lawyers to find great fiscal shelters and false corps to hide what it is seen from all right at our faces. Sorry to be pessimist but human kind have long lost the way to get back home .. and this is all over the world.. ps : do you think sincerly that one day the system will be transparent .. dream within a dream… good luck to us all.

  • Greg

    It’s important that we replace Social Security and Medicare with personal accounts or else those Americans that unfortunately do not start saving for retirement until they are much too old will end up in poverty and voting for more government welfare checks.

    BUT if we replace Social Security and Medicare with around a 5%/year personal retirement account, almost no one will end up poor enough in retirement to need any government benefits at all!

    The average annual Social Security benefit right now is only $14,000 and you and your employer have to pay a combined 14.9% a year in payroll taxes. With a mere 5%/year account, employer payroll taxes will be eliminated (reducing employment costs by 7.45%, allowing companies to hire millions more workers) and you will save 2.45% a year. Not only that, but you’ll be left with around $21,000 a year in retirement instead of $14,000! Get 50% higher benefits at 1/3rd the cost. It’s 6 times more efficient than the current system.

    For example, if you earn $25k a year at 22 and get a 2% raise every year until you retire at 67 with an income of $61k ($46k lifetime average income), and you put 5% a year into a savings account that earned 5% a year you’ll be left with $293,000 in savings, which will allow you to buy an annuity for about $23,000 a year for the rest of your life.

    It’s a no-brainer.

  • Greg

    The point of Social Security and Medicare is to ensure that senior citizens don’t go without basic necessities or health care. I and almost everyone else agree with that goal. The problem is – our current system isn’t built to do that! The current entitlement system is largely redistribution of wealth to middle class and wealthy people who have plenty of resources to take care of themselves.

    This should be a very gradual change because people have planned their retirement based on the current system, but Social Security and Medicare should be available for all senior citizens that are in need and not available to senior citizens that have plenty of wealth. If you own a $400,000 house free and clear, you don’t need government checks every month – you have a $400,000 asset. If you have a $30,000/year annuity you don’t need government checks every month – you have plenty of money.

    If you rent and only have a few thousand dollars in the bank or are in debt, absolutely our society can afford to help you out financially. And there should be no requirement that senior citizens look for work because many cannot. It’s basically just “welfare for senior citizens”, but this system would cost maybe 10-20% of what the current entitlement behemoth costs us.

  • David

    Some replies here baffle me. They think by cutting this stuff means people will starve. The point of cutting is to free up money so this money can allow people to take care of themseves. Most legitimate people would much rather take care of themselves than have Governement do it for them. It’s just today’s society and spending does not allow for them to. The only way to allow them to is to cut spending and let the money go back into the free market. I’m not saying completely get rid of it, and I don’t see that Ron Paul is either, or not at least right away. We all know the fact that many people have poored hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece into the system. To get rid of it would be stealing there money. There must be a transitition process to allow for this. THis is one of the problems with entitilement programs to begin with. They end up unsustainable but too many lives are affected by it. It would have been better if it never existed, but since it did, it has be taken down very carefully.

  • NaturalGroundation

    YES! To voluntary Social Security!!!! Let me take my retirement ELSEWHERE!!!!


  • macpduff

    Wow. I can’t disagree more.
    I thought I liked Ron Paul.
    No to replacing Fed SS with State funded Welfare. Same for Medicare. The States have even less money than the Feds. The SS fund is well funded. This is just a ruse to raid the fund.
    Look, why don’t we just go out and shoot our Disabled and Seniors. Wall St stole their retirement. How much $ have we squandered on wars since 2001? And whose fault is it that our jobs were sent overseas?

  • Boomer1949

    They are all lying to you. It’s not SS that is going broke, it’s the part of our SS tax (OSDI) that covers Disability that will be broke in 2018. Watch my latest vid, and read the SS Trustee Report 2010.

  • MoreFunky420

    I appreciate all the answers to my question on this post. While we should ALL be responsible for ourselves we do indeed need a plan for the elderly when they can’t work anymore as well as the disabled physically and mentally. Otherwise we will truly be like a socialist country letting the “burdens” on society wither away and die before their time. Im lucky that I am capable of working and saving money. As long as there IS work. But sometimes thats not always the case. Thanks for the input guys.

  • GodlessInfinity

    Yes, let’s end welfare, senior citizens don’t need to eat anyway!

  • Steve Barakat

    Ya. Start with the corporate welfare state.

  • Justicar333

    Social Security/Medicare are vaulable, if badly broken, parts of our modern society. While I agree with Dr. Paul on most things, including this. I think it needs repair, rather than removal. A repair that has to go farther than the two systems themselves. While state ran, these two programs function much like private versions which do much the same things. Attacking them is as silly as attacking those who receive benefits from their automobile insurance after being in a wreck.

  • Brian Handey

    How is it “screwing over the weak and defenseless?” If anything, they’re screwing everyone else over. Time to take personal responsibility. You can’t use government coercion to force people into paying for someone else’s mistakes.

    This isn’t a republican/democratic issue. This is a freedom issue. And you oughta mostly blame democrats. They’re responsible for most of the mess.

    Since 1945, Democrats have had control of the House 26 out of the last 33 election cycles and control of the Senate 23 out of the last 33 election cycles. They have rejected a resolution in March of 2010 to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan in 30 days from passage or NLT 31 December 2010, whichever is safer. They also rejected a resolution in July 2010 to remove all troops and stop all military operations in Pakistan.

    So next time you go blaming Republicans for anything, you might want to educate yourself. You’re the problem, not freedom-loving Americans. Don’t bring the rest of us down with your radical agendas.

    P.S. – if those fictional “old widows” you talk about had responsible husbands who bought life insurance, or – and here’s a novel idea – they had saved and invested for the future, then they wouldn’t be out on the street. Blame lies with the individual. Get used to it, because that’s life. It’s also funny how historically, Republican supporters donate more to charity than Democrats. In fact, I heard about a grave being dug up in New York state somewhere. I bet it was a Democrat looking for taxes.