President Barack Obama used the anniversary of Social Security to accuse the opposition of wanting to destroy it. In his weekly address to the nation, Obama said that he had an “obligation” to keep Franklin D. Roosevelt’s monumental pension legislation intact—“today, tomorrow and forever.”
According to the president, Republicans are “pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall.” In reality, few Republican candidates even dare touch Social Security out of fear of losing senior voters. Even most Tea Partiers, renowned for their newfound libertarianism, typically believe that existing entitlement programs such as Social Security should not be changed.
Privatization, according to the president, is “an ill-conceived idea that would add trillions of dollars to our budget deficit while tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market.”
As it is, America spends about as much on Social Security as it does on defense each year, amounting both to approximately 19 percent of the federal budget. Along with Medicare (12 percent) and Medicaid (7 percent), the country spends twice as much on entitlements as it does on defense, and it’s doing so on borrowed money. With a budget that’s skyrocketing, this administration is leaving America greatly in debt.
Privatizing what is nearly the single largest expenditure of the Federal Government would do anything but add “trillions” to the deficit, no matter what the president believes. To the contrary. By gradually phasing out the program and letting people take care of their own retirement, government could save trillions, cut taxes, and let people spend, and save, their own money. Moreover, they wouldn’t need to be subject to the “whims” of Wall Street if the government allowed them to save for their retirement, tax free.
I don’t suppose Democrats, the president included, like the sound of that though.