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.


  • Leavon

    Its not the individual that is at fault in caring for this nations aging population, its rests squarely with our gov’t and groups that have created the view that it is the gov’ts responsibility to do so. For decades we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that the gov’t is our god all the while being encouraged to turn away from religion and rely on gov’t for all our needs. Well, time to wake up and take responsibility not only for ourselves but all of our family, gov’t is the problem not the cure.

  • pweeclassic84

    mmm maybe cannibus can help us

  • boldhero44

    NO more censorship !!! Curious??? Please visit:

  • bulldogs3327

    My thoughts on how to get rid of Social Security is a draw down program, where those who are 50 and older will receive Full Benefits until they pass away.
    Those who are between the ages of 35 to 49 will receive partial benefits, depending on how much they have put into the system. Those who are just starting out in the job market to age 34 will not pay into the system and would be encouraged to open their own savings account. To pay for those who are currently in the system, it will be paid

  • hydroponichybrid

    f that i want the money i put in

  • porkypine1888

    go Paul!

  • goldcurrent1

    America has no respect for its elders like most other cultures do.

  • 2xtream

    Cut the gov in 1/2 and double SS…

  • marcef100m

    SS is an example of why feminism and big liberal gov go hand in hand. Everyone who works pays in. Up until now, has always been men that worked but it is women who receive the spousal benefits, while living an extra 5 years, and on average, when working, retiring at a younger age. Kill feminism and victomology and the rest will fall into place. Entitlement programs, that favor women, as they all do, are engrained in big gov, along with the and hatred of men. Look at your pres and vp!

  • CommonSensePeter

    Rumsfeld admitted to $2.3 trillion missing on September 10, 2001 (the day before 9/11)

    So if we need cuts in spending, lets start with the D.O.D who waste more money than SS will ever pay out.

  • CommonSensePeter

    People who pay and paid in to SS deserve it people who haven’t don’t, if we start with that premise it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is people who have never paid in to the system get SS or SSI stop the welfare part of SS and it would solve the money part.

    I can remember back around 1990 making around 75k a year and thinking taxes,SS and medicare suck ass but figured at least I’ll get the SS when I retire. Cut the defense budget, Rumsfeld said D.O.D lost 8 billion they have to much money.

  • CommonSensePeter

    Look at your pay check since Regan we not only pay for social security for the older generation but also pay for our own we pay double. Social security gets robbed every year by congress, and as much as I agree with Ron Paul I have to disagree about social security it’s not an entitlement, you and I pay for it and like I said since Regan we pay twice as much, so when the time comes I want my money. Stop taking from the people and start with cutting the military and their private crook friends.

  • palatiality

    i support national health care, but am against social security.
    social security needs to give back every LIVING person’s $ that has been removed, then shut the social security system down permanently.

  • Eraser7622

    Ron Paul needs to draw light to the detention and torture of Bradley Manning and help to create the public attention it deserves for not only Mr. Manning, but for what his illegal detention (without due process) means to the rest of Americans.

  • marcef100m

    NO MEANS TESTING, if have to cut it, cut it, but no more welfare bs. Stop penalizing success! Why should a guy save if he known’s whatever he saves not buying drugs and prostitutes will just be taken away from him in SS benefits. Cut SS and tell people save or be at the mercy of CONDITIONAL charity when old, otherwise even responsible people will also be screwed for getting old as the entire ship goes down.

  • Todd

    @MrGdeo………..CJLopez21 is right, on top of what he says, you have Insurance companies donating top of the line radar equipment to police. The insurance companies know if you get a second ticket they can raise your insurance. Many police make 6 figure incomes from all the over time. The ticket racket (or shake down money) provides lots of revenue.

    All the weapons the US sells, who do you think gets all that? While they tax the citizens

    How about all the money gained from selling Visa application to foreigners? While they tax the citizens

    Or Import duties? How about all the interest the Fed has made from financing foreign banks and countries, America doesn’t see any of this wealth.

    Much of the Fed income, just gets diverted to other countries anyway, most recently Haiti, you see the Fed doesn’t want you to pay down the debt, The interest alone has made them wealthy. In reality, they love that America is in debt, they have us right where they want us. Many don’t even know that these owners of the Fed aren’t even American citizens or that the Fed (private bank) doesn’t pay taxes itself. These bankers grandfathered it in so that they wouldn’t have too.

    In reality, there needs to be a class action lawsuit against the Fed as they have devalued everyones wealth and need to be held accountable.

  • HG2013

    Dislikers are corporate tools.

  • 79merkus

    I would like to see a Ron Paul Presidential run with Bernie Sanders as his choice of VP.

    I will vote for nothing else.

  • cocainewhiteisright

    ron paul left this message on my answering machine

  • fizzywool

    Social security is not welfare. It is a user funded government guarenteed retirement fund. True you might be paying for a person that is retired while you are working, with the knowlege that if you live long enough or get hurt you to will get benifits as others pay in with same regard. Government spends what it wants when it wants for what it wants. If they do not have the funds they borrow or print it. Government is only one that can make a commitment like this.Limited printing saves interest.