For decades Social security was considered the 3rd rail of politics that one dared discuss only if one had no expectation or desire to be reelected.
In the midst of the current debt limit debate the Democrats are once again screeching about how the GOP wants to throw grandma off a cliff, force seniors to eat dog food, and end all life on the planet in spite of the fact that no GOP proposal would affect any retirees or near retirees. As we know, Democrats are impervious to facts and truth.
The Democrats also repeatedly claim that Social Security is a popular program and the deluge of calls to Congress when Social Security legislation is discussed would seem to support their claim. They're wrong though.
My father, who is 70 and receives Social Security, hates the system. He hated being forced to "contribute" to it his entire working life but when I raise the idea of him declining to take the money he goes ballistic stating basically, "I was forced to contribute to the system and I'm going to get my money back!" Hard to argue with that.
Using this slim anecdotal evidence I believe this attitude is widespread and SSI is in fact not popular, rather, seniors merely want to get back money that was confiscated from them over the course of decades.
We've all seen polls that state younger generations don't expect to receive SSI benefits and would opt out of the system if given the opportunity.
So, I think the GOP ought to challenge the Democrats premise of SSIs' popularity by submitting a bill titled "The Freedom of Choice in Retirement Act", using the Left's "freedom of choice" language against them.
The terms of the act that I propose are harsh but will expose the Democrats' true purpose for protecting the system as it exists, to keep voters dependent on government.
I only have two terms. In exchange for being granted the ability to opt out, all those that opt out will have to forfeit all previous contributions and the 'opters' employer contribution must be maintained.
I would only present the forfeiture in the first version of the bill and the employer contribution maintenance in a second version to up the stakes.
What's not there for a Liberal to love except the loss of captive voter and that voter's taxes? But I believe presenting it as a "freedom of choice" issue with two very punitive opt out provisions would make it difficult for Democrats to oppose without exposing their socialist inclinations.
I'm 45 and I personally would forfeit all my "contributions" if going forward I could add that money to my 401k instead. Younger people have even less of a stake in the current system and I believe would opt out in droves. And I guarantee that the Democrats know this and they fear it.
The GOP can employ the Left's strategy of "incrementalism" in following years to eliminate the employer contribution.
I've contacted my GOP freshman rep, Steve Womack (AR-R), contact yours.