Ron Paul: Why the Government Lies About Social Security

Why the Government Lies About Social Security

by Ron Paul

Perhaps the biggest media story of 2010 was the influence of Tea Party voters on the Congressional landscape. The new Congress comes to Capitol Hill with a mandate to end profligate spending and restore fiscal sanity in Washington, we are told. But when the House and Senate convene in January the newly elected members will face tremendous pressure to maintain spending levels for entitlement programs. Even the most modest proposals to trim Social Security or Medicare spending will be met with howls of indignation and threats of voter revolt. Legislators who propose any kind of means testing or increased retirement ages can expect angry visits from senior citizens and lobbyists ready to fund a candidate back home who supports the status quo.

But millions of Americans now realize that the status quo is an illusion that will not last even another 10 or 20 years. The federal government cannot continue to spend a trillion dollars more than it collects in revenue each year because we are running out of creditors. Fiscal reality is setting in and the consequences may be grim, even if Congress finds the courage to take decisive action now.

Courage begins with a commitment to see things as they are, rather than how we wish they were. When it comes to Social Security we must understand that the system does not represent an old age pension, an insurance program or even a forced savings program. It simply represents an enormous transfer of payment with younger workers paying taxes to benefit the other beneficiaries. There is no Social Security trust fund and you don’t have an account. Whether you win or lose the Social Security lottery is a function of when you happen to be born and how long you live to collect benefits. Of course young people today have every reason to believe they will never collect those benefits.

Notice that neither political party proposes letting people opt out of Social Security, which exposes the lie that your contributions are set aside and saved. After all, if your contributions are really set aside for your retirement, the money is there earning interest, right? If your money is in your account, what difference would it make if your neighbor chooses not to participate in the program?

The truth of course is that your contributions are not put aside. Social Security is a simple tax. Like all taxes, the money collected is spent immediately as general revenue to fund the federal government. But no administration will admit that Social Security is nothing more than an accounting ledger with no money. You will collect benefits only if future tax revenues remain high. The money you paid into the system is long gone.

My hope is that at least some members of the new Congress will cut through the distortions to see Social Security as it really is. The best way to fix the impending Social Security crisis is also the simplest: Allow younger individuals to opt out of the program and use their tax savings to invest privately as they see fit. This is the true private solution. Your money has never been safe in the government’s hands and it never will be.


  • ruger338magnum

    Only 64% goes to retired workers the rest goes to disability ,spousal survivor benefits etc. Maybe it should all go to our retirement program. That would help out the problem.

  • teresa

    Foreigners/ legally/illegally in this country SHOULD NOT be allowed to receive SOCIAL SECURITY as they have not invested time or money into the system! WE AMERICANS have… I think that this shift/ change in the SOC SEC system would benefit ALL AGING AMERICANS… WE MUST TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN and ensure that elderly AMERICANS are not going hungry and without in their OLD AGE! If we do NOT change this system then we not only fail ALL ELDERLY AMERICANS NOW BUT FAIL OURSELVES IN OUR OLD AGE!

  • sunRsaturn

    SSI is foreign aid for pharmaceutical companies. If not for that, they probably euthanize us at 65 as unmarketable.

  • swu880

    Those who fall for such a scheme blindly assuming its some sort of ‘humanitarian effort’, dont deserve to have a single penny of their money

  • rnade

    SSI goes directly into the general fund.. SSI is adminstered as a welfare program… One day soon it will be means tested.. if the whole ecomomy holds together and the FED stays in bussiness

  • Apptendo

    I bet Ron Paul is find with everyone opting out of the Whole entire State, but doesn’t want to admit it because Republicans will kick him out of the Party and Yell at him calling him a Commie Anarchist.

    • Libertarian777

      Ron Paul would prefer STATE level governance, with very very limited FEDERAL governance.

      It would be ironic if they call him a communist for NOT wanting centralised socialist control.

  • augustkm

    I think the shit will hit the fan if they try to employ means testing for Social Security. Or raise the retirement age. It will be more than angry visits to congressmen. Congress blew the money (instead of saving/investing it) like they do with all the money they take from us, so now they want to change the rules. This will get ugly.

  • fluff125

    Two words: Ponzie. Scheme.

  • Stepper11

    Social security is a vast Ponzi scheme. Hell, even Ponzi didn’t coerce people into giving him their money. This is ourtright theft.

  • VMATT500C

    If SS is a lie / scam then it’s time to put all the LIES / SCAMS on the table.
    Then the real work can start to fix a fraudulent system.

  • VisionsOfTheNobody

    Thumbs up if you think Dr Paul is the wisest politic in this lifetime. 🙂

  • rayme4raw

    Thumbs up, Ron is a brilliant as ever.

  • edarotag84

    I know a woman that came here from mexico “illegally”, when she was here 20 yrs “illegally” she became a citizen, then got on Social Security and welfare, this needs to STOP NOW!

  • VoVaKissCam

    I like that attitude on social security, generations of my family paid into this MORE than we have received, and Paul wants to give me a tough shit sucker we spent the money and we aint putting it back. The GOP spent it, and the democrats watched em do it. Get real PAUL. Certain obligations need met, punk.

  • MrApadirect

    George Carlin was 100% right!!

  • SomethingSea1

    Ah yes, the social insecurity scam.

  • caddyshack12190

    I wanna opt out.

  • triforcelink

    do the people who oppose any decrease in government spending NOT see the over-sized elephant in the room? cut the spending, live with the losses and give government the finger the next time they promise you something and then try to take your money, because they obviously don’t know what they’re doing.

  • truthcrackers

    THe system is a broke fraud. Tax revolt!

  • avionicswirenut

    The government lies about everything, not just this….