A few years ago, "We
are spending our children's inheritance" made a catchy bumper-sticker
slogan, the humor hanging on two points: Its selfish sentiment invited
rejection, but its kernel of truth was undeniable.
Actually, most Americans
have long been guilty of something far more serious than spending
our children's inheritances. We are mortgaging their freedom, without
their knowledge or consent, to ease our own retirement and bankroll
big government's social engineering. This is cultural lunacy, composed,
like most insanity, of self-absorption, ignorance, delusion and
So long as we allow
professional liars to dominate the ranks of politicians and bureaucrats
to regulate our society unchecked, we will suffer and so will our
Some of the most glaring
and furthest-reaching symptoms of this madness lie in the huge,
wasteful and ill-conceived programs of Social Security. Despite
the trust-fund myth long propagated by the Social Security Administration
(SSA), the truth is that workers' FICA taxes are not set aside to
provide for their old-age pensions and other benefits; they are
paid out immediately to people who have already retired.1 Today's
workers support today's retirees. (See Good
me, the deluge.
The government's own
estimate is that, by the year 2030, every Social Security "beneficiary"
will be supported by only two workers (down from 3.3 in 1990 and
16 in 1950)a crushing national burden of dependents. In a
cover story, "The Case For Killing Social Security," (March
20, 1995), Time magazine labeled its chart of these statistics,
"You think you've got money problems now . . ."
Furthermore, if we
let Congress and other levels of government continue their "deficit
spending" (read: borrowing), to fund this host of questionable
or downright destructive programs, we will load our future generations
with an even more overwhelming debt (estimated by the National Taxpayers
Union to exceed $15 trillion already).
most important natural resource is her children; they are the
guaranty for the national debt.
True, only citizens
with Social Security numbers are liable for the SSA's "unfunded
liabilities" (promised, but unbudgeted benefits) or for any
other portion of the national debt. Also true, Social Security is,
by its director's admission, a voluntary system. Yet, how often
is a couple presented with any alternative when told to sign up
their newborn? Most are led to believe just the oppositethat
they must obtain a number before they can leave the hospital. What
do YOU think?
Benjamin Franklin noted
that a debtor makes himself a slave to the future. Thus, every well-meaning,
but ignorant parent who signs up a child for Social Security enslaves
that child to work all its life paying on a debt it did nothing
or "out" of "the system," with or without a
Social Security number, we all share in the rising costs of subsidizing
non-producers, both in buying power and in the quality of life.
The more we encourage unproductive dependency, the poorer we become
as private citizens and as communities, states and a nation. Instead
of slavishly perpetuating this "socialist insecurity"
system which robs Peter to support Paul (and the government robbers),
we should find profitable, realistic ways to help Paul produce and
provide for his own future.
Money does not equal
liberty, of course, but the two can profoundly affect each other.
For most of us, spendable income dictates lifestyle, mobility and
the ability to defend ourselves, our families and property in court
and otherwise. The same will be true, presumably, of our children
Of course, the key
word is spendable. Already the best estimates set the total current
tax bite out of each dollar at about 60 percent, including the taxes
collected at the various stages of production and transportation
before any product or service is sold to the end user and sales
tax collected.2 What kinds of lives will future generations have
when 40-to- 50 percent of each paycheck is also withheld to support
government programsprograms with which the "contributors"
may not even agree? What will they think of us for leaving them
such a legacy?
America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America??
There is a larger
dimension to this long-term slide in spendable income, and it is
far more vicious. If we continue competing feverishly for an ever-dwindling
supply of private-sector dollars, the general level of ethics and
morals will slip even further than it has already, until "dog-eat-dog
world" becomes more than a metaphor. At last, even the pretense
of social cohesion could become impossible.
you coming home, son?"
"I don't know when, but we'll have a good time then, Dad.
You know we'll have a good time then.". . . He'd turned out
just like me; my boy was just like me.
If our children follow
the example we have set so far, they, too, will refuse to face the
problem. Like all other parasites, however, an economic one can
grow only so large before it kills its host.
None of this is inevitable.
. . yet. The time is now to take responsibility for our great gift
of freedom, for our republican form of government of, by and for
the people. If not now, when? If not us, who will?
encourage our readers to share with us articles, news accounts and
other accurate information which compliment the "12 Good Reasons".
Submit your articles or links here. We
welcome your comments.
can you do about it? The Time Is Now Institute is
part of the solution. We invite you to a Consultation
to develop a personal solution. Be sure to read all 12
to the 12 Good Reasons page.
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