January 13, 2006

The More Things Change

I've been listening to the greatest American speeches that I blogged about last week.

Here's a speech that's over forty years old. Yet is still relevant.

    Now -- we're for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we've accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.

    But we're against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those people who depend on them for a livelihood. They've called it "insurance" to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is 298 billion dollars in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble. And they're doing just that.

    A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary -- his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee 220 dollars a month at age 65. The government promises 127. He could live it up until he's 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis, so that people who do require those payments will find they can get them when they're due -- that the cupboard isn't bare?

Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing"

Politics Posted by AlexC at January 13, 2006 7:09 PM

Well why then not renounce the resignation of this first paragraph in order to further the obvious choice from the last?

Are we so lacking in any sense whatsoever that we think government can ever do better for individuals than they can do for themselves?

Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2006 11:34 AM | What do you think? [1]