At his town hall in NJ today, John McCain says that he doesn’t want to privatize Social Security, but he wants to allow younger people to put a percentage of the money in an account for themselves. (video is after the jump)
And I, just to let you know, want to preserve the death penalty but not allow anyone to be put to death.
I also want to preserve dual-office holding, but want to deny elected officials from holding more than one elected position.
Seriously, didn’t McCain watch Bush get slapped around trying exactly this same thing in 2005? It was the turning point when his party started going south!
But the real point I want to make is how stupid it is of McCain to defend the
privatization use of private Social Security accounts by repeating the mantra, “It’s their money, It’s their money.”
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of our government in general and of Social Security in specific. Because — wait for it — IT’S NOT THEIR FUCKING MONEY.
Social Security is built upon a contract between the recipients and the payees, and enforced by the federal government. It’s a very simple contract, as well, which anyone with an ounce of sense can understand.
1) Payees pay for payments made to current recipients, including retirees, the aged, widows and widowers, children and the disabled;
2) When said payees reach a certain age, become widowed, or die leaving a widow(er) or children, then these same payments accrue to them.
When we send money to Verizon for our cell phone, we don’t think of it as “my money” after we send the check. Hell, we don’t even think of insurance payments as “my money” after we write the check — but just like Social Security we expect to receive the service after we paid the premium.
It’s not like putting your money into a savings account, a pension fund, a mattress or anywhere else. It’s just insurance: if you pay for other people today, you are guaranteed to receive payments when you are in that situation later.
It’s the same problem as when Republicans talk about taxes as if it is an individual’s money. It’s not Bob Barker’s money, or Mr. Huntsu’s money, or George Bush’s money, or Sally the Dry Cleaner’s money.
We all pay into a fund, and after we pay into the fund it is not any individual’s money. It belongs to all of us, and we elect people like John McCain to figure out the best way to spend it to make the country even better. It’s the price of living in the best, freest, most economically mobile country in the world.
But the Republicans don’t understand this. They think that the money they pay in taxes is somehow a punishment as opposed to a payment for services to be rendered.
Could the payment be lower? Certainly. Could the product be better? Certainly. That’s not my argument.
The argument is that taxes — Social Security or income or whatever — are part of a contract we have with our country to pay for the services we are to receive. Just like our phones, cable, water, electric, insurance and other bills the money is no longer ours once we pay for the product.
You’d think people who are so into the free market would get this.