Social Security: The Scam That Keeps on Taking
Alex Epstein rightly decries the fraudulent premises of Social Security:
Social Security is commonly portrayed as benefiting most, if not all, Americans by providing them “risk-free” financial security in old age.
This is a fraud.
Under Social Security, lower- and middle-class individuals are forced to pay a significant portion of their gross income — approximately 12 percent — for the alleged purpose of securing their retirement. That money is not saved or invested, but transferred directly to the program’s current beneficiaries — with the “promise” that when current taxpayers get old, the income of future taxpayers will be transferred to them. Since this scheme creates no wealth, any benefit one person receives in excess of his payments necessarily comes at the expense of others.
Under Social Security, every aspect of the government’s “promise” to provide financial security is at the mercy of political whim. The government can change how much of an individual’s money it takes — it has increased the payroll tax 17 times since 1935. The government can spend his money on anything it wants — observe the long-time practice of spending any annual Social Security surplus on other entitlement programs. The government can change when (and therefore if) it chooses to pay him benefits and how much they consist of — witness the current proposals to raise the age cutoff or lower future benefits. Under Social Security, whether an individual gets twice as much from others as was taken from him, or half as much, or nothing at all, is entirely at the discretion of politicians. He cannot count on Social Security for anything — except a massive drain on his income.
Frankly, I’m expecting never to see a dime of return on my Social Security “investment,” and to have scarcely any opportunity to save in my life. Taking four hours of my workweek away from me every week for the Ponzi schemes of older and larger generations is immoral to the borderline of criminality.