The Problem With Social Security

By

Published April 13, 2010

| FoxNews.com

Welcome to day two of the beginning of The Plan. What is The Plan? It's all the changes that need to happen to keep America from going broke. These are tough changes. But they must be made. 'Oh, but Glenn, didn't you see the Dow hit 11,000 this week? And the president said we are turning the corner. Didn't you see the cover of Newsweek! America is back! I don't think we need a plan.

Uh huh.

The storm has not passed. We are in the eye of the hurricane. There's another wave about to come ashore and it's going to even hit harder than the first wave. It's going to hurt more because we are being told that everything is OK, when it clearly isn't. Listen carefully: Short term everything will feel like it's OK, because with stimulus and everything else they are pumping adrenaline into the system. About two thirds of the stimulus is still left. It's a trick used by Roosevelt. Things are going to look OK for a while barring an emergency. But believe me long term it is not.

You know why I was for TARP for about three days? I thought government would use that time to tell you the truth so you could prepare. Took me three days to see the lie from the last administration. The lie is 'We're fine, relax.' Believe me, uber-wealthy, the elite, and the politicians are battening down the hatches and preparing for transformation. If we are OK, why transform into something else?

Look at the numbers: Government has posted budget deficits for 18 straight months. Last month, government spent $218 billion, but took in $153 billion. That's only like $65 billion dollars short. But America is good for it, right? Well, not exactly. We have to take loans out to cover those ongoing massive budget deficits. We're good to pay back the loans, right? Well, not exactly. We already owe $108 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities.

So when someone holds up the cover of Newsweek for you or says everything is OK, remember, before the housing crisis these were the guys saying the same thing:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN BERNANKE: We expect moderate growth going forward. We believe that if the housing sector begins to stabilize, and if some of the inventory corrections still going on in manufacturing begin to be completed, that there's a reasonable possibility that we'll see some strengthening in the economy sometime during the middle of the new year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

If you want to continue to live in that world, in what I believe is denial, fine. You can change the channel. Anybody left: What do we do about it?

Starting with Medicare and Social Security.

Government said Social Security would be OK until 2037. For Medicare it was 2017 until the real trouble started. We've known about it for a long time. Listen to the politicians:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Social Security, as some of us had warned for so long, faced disaster. I, myself, have been talking about this problem for almost 30 years. As 1983 began, the system stood on the brink of bankruptcy, a double victim of our economic ills.

PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Today, Social Security is strong. But by 2013, payroll taxes will no longer be sufficient to cover monthly payments. And by 2032, the trust fund will be exhausted, and Social Security will be unable to pay out the full benefits older Americans have been promised.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Retirement security also depends upon keeping the commitments of Social Security, and we will. We must make Social Security financially stable and allow personal retirement accounts for younger workers who choose them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Unfortunately the 2037 and 2017? Not working out well. Check your calendar, I don't think its 2037 yet — this year Social Security is in the red. We've known for years. And done nothing.

John Winthrop, the puritan settlers' first governor, wrote "the city upon a hill" aboard the Arbella in 1630 to help prepare his people for starting new: "To doe justly, to love mercy, to walke humbly with our god, for this end, wee must be knitt together in this worke as one man, wee must entertaine each other in brotherly affeccion... Wee must delight in eache other, make others condicions our owne rejoyce together, mourne together, labour, and suffer together...but if our heartes shall turne away soe that wee will not obey, but shall be seduced and worshipp other gods our pleasures, and proffitts, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, wee shall surely perishe out of the good land whether wee passe over this vast sea to possesse it; therefore lett us choose life... And cleaveing to him, for hee is our life, and our prosperity."

We've faced bigger problems, we just have to do it!

Have you ever wondered why we even have Social Security? It's not an American idea. It's first from Germany in the late 1800's. Hmmm, lets see, who else was prominent in Germany at that time... Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche. This is where the first progressive ideas came from, and when those ideas floated across the Atlantic, they took America off course.

Did you know that for the first century and a half of American existence there were no entitlements? Zero. How did Americans survive all those years without government assistance! What did those people do? They didn't have to (gasp) work did they? Yes, they did! But they also took care of themselves and their families.

It wasn't until 1929 and Herbert Hoover did we finally get an entitlement program. It was the creation of the Federal Farm Board, which subsidized agricultural cooperatives. But Hoover was just an amateur when it came to socialization. In 1935, after FDR had already launched his New Deal assault on the Constitution, he signed into law the Social Security Act of 1935. Here's video from the actual signing of this bill:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: This Social Security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

The progressive wave of European social insurance infected America and this is the result of it. This is European thinking, not American.

When FDR signed that Social Security bill, it wasn't designed to subsidize a cushy retirement, so seniors could jet set all across the globe on vacations. Social Security was meant as insurance. What is the whole idea behind insurance? It covers you in the event of a surprise or unexpected event. Fall off a ladder and break your arm? Insurance covers it. Get in a fender bender? Car insurance covers it. House burns down? Insurance covers it. Live too long? Social Security covered you. In1930 life expectancy was only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65! You weren't even expected to ever get the benefits. Today life expectancy is 75 years for men, 80 years for women, and too many people rely and count on Social Security funding their weekly shuffleboard tournaments. You should have saved! But it's also not surprising because that's what politicians have promised us. This is the change in America that we are getting. And the only way to fix it is to root ourselves in personal responsibility. Be self reliant. And use common sense. We're going to have to be self reliant, caring, thinking out of the box!

Ben Franklin was a great inventor. But why did he invent things? Was it to get rich? Famous? No. He simply wanted to invent things that would make life easier and safer for people. In the 1800's the main source of heat came from wood stoves, but they were incredibly inefficient and dangerous.

So he created the Franklin stove. When approached about a patent for the fireplace's design, Franklin turned it down. He was satisfied that people would benefit from his invention. He saw a problem and he took care of it himself. He didn't plead for the government to do it. And other inventors followed his lead - and some probably got very rich while helping improve Americans lives. It was a win-win system! Little government intervention. maximum freedom.

Franklin was also the guy who started the first public hospital. It was an individual that helped! All kinds of stories will come out - they already are!

Glenn Beck...scares old people... wants to take Social Security away. That's the kind of thinking that got us into this problem. Let me say, to all of the Americans who have more maturity than those running campaigns in this country...it's wrong to take away Social Security or any benefits you are having at this point. We all made this mess! And we'll honor it because it's too late for some. But, if you are 45, 50, even 60 years old, illusion is over! You may have to work a little longer, a little harder. But by doing the responsible thing — honoring our parents and taking care of those in the system — and then taking ourselves out of the system, so we can leave our children a country. It puts us into the category that most Americans never thought they could be put in; it puts you in the category of Americans that most only read about George Washington, Ben Franklin; people of honor, integrity. Who do the hard thing because it's right.

Faith, hope and charity. America has always been the country that's tried to make life better, helped people in times of need, and countries who are struggling. That's American individuals, not government. We've lost touch with that. We need to refocus. Charity begins at home. Take care of our own families. Be responsible. Take care of loved ones. Help neighbors in need. Get involved with your church and in the community.

Tax day is in two days. Progressives are always pushing for higher taxes because government is the best way to be charitable. Ask yourself as you sign that return: Does it give you the same feeling as helping a friend in need? Or giving a loved one a room until they can get a job? Which touches you more? Would the movie 'Blind Side' have been better if Sandra Bullock pulled alongside the homeless kid and said 'tell you what — I'm going to write a bigger check to the IRS.'

It starts with each of us. It's time to refocus.

— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel

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