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Guest Post: Privatize Social Security by Eric Dondero

2010/08/10

[… go a head, punk. Make. my. day. – Ed.]

. . .

During the seven fat years, Pharaoh taxed the people at the rate of twenty percent to fill his storehouses with grain. Then, during the seven years of famines, he did not simply return the people’s grain to them, but instead used the grain to reduce the people to bondage. Today, we call this Social Security. The purpose of Social Security should be to secure financial independence and even wealth for all those who work regularly, not to convert those who work into government dependents upon their retirement. — Dr. Clifford F. Thies, Eldon R. Lindsay Chair of Free Enterprise
Professor of Economics and Finance, Shenandoah University

by Eric Dondero
Our conservative Republican friends may be a bit too timid to admit to it, but we libertarian Republicans will say straight out, loudly and boldly, that Yes, we Do Want to Fully Privatize Social Security!
From The Hill, “Dems plan to attack GOP on Social Security,” Aug. 9:

House Democrats are planning more than 100 events around this week’s anniversary of Social Security to attack Republicans who want to reform the popular entitlement.
Democrats and interest groups on the left have scheduled “birthday parties” and other events to highlight Saturday’s 75th anniversary of the program signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt.
A Democratic leadership aide said Republicans are “highly vulnerable” on both Social Security and Medicare.
“This is a party that said they want Medicare to wither on the vine and want to privatize Social Security,” the aide said.

Burn your Social Security Card!
Curiously, in the entire piece there’s no mention whatsoever of the Libertarian Party which advocates in their platform complete privatization.
From LP.org:

Libertarians believe you should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money in your own personal retirement account. An account that you own and control – one that politicians can’t get their hands on.
Republicans and Democrats say it can’t be done – that your Social Security taxes are needed to pay benefits to today’s retirees. Instead of letting you invest in your own future, they want you to have faith that someone else will pay your benefits when it comes time for you to retire.
Although most won’t admit it publicly, their “solutions” to the Social Security crises all come down to some combination of tax increases and benefit cuts.
Libertarians know that there’s a better way.
Countries like Chile, Mexico, Britain, and Australia have successfully made the transition from their failed Social Security systems to healthy systems based on individual retirement accounts.

The Libertarian Party even went so far as to sponsor nationwide rallies in the 1980s to burn Social Security cards, and urge its members to drop out of the S.S. system.

Republicans gain Libertarian voters with boldness; not bland pastels
So here we have the Libertarian Party criticizing Republicans for not backing real Social Security privatization.  And if you think the LP is “fringe,” consider for a moment their candidate for US Senate in North Carolina is currently polling between 8 to 10%.  But of course, the Dems can’t attack the Libertarian Party. They have to portray the Republican Party as the “extremist Privatizers.”

The Republican Party needs to not only appeal to moderate Centrists, but the libertarian swing voter, as well. Libertarians are not pacified by namby pamby proposals of soft reform, or tinkering around the edges.  A bold Republican stance for full privatization of Social Security and other failed government programs will undoubtably attract that hardcore libertarian vote. Without such boldness, the Republican candidate is likely to loose 3, 4 or 5% or maybe even like North Carolina with a strong articulate Libertarian candidate on the ballot, as much as 8 to 10% of the vote on their libertarian flank.  The job of us libertarian Republicans is to help the GOP appeal to that flank.

So, go ahead Democrats. Keep playing up the “Republicans want to Privatize Social Security” line. You only make our job much more easier.

Dr. Thies is a longtime Republican, former National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, and currently Senior Editor of Libertarian Republican. Eric Dondero is a former Senior Aide to US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), 1997-2003.

. . .

Hats-off and a nod to Eric Dondero and Cliff Thies. “Extremist privatizers” indeed! Decentralization via privatization, for all its problems, is far more stable and reliable than allowing old-age investments left to be plundered by “extremist bureaucrats”. The centralized government-controlled model has flopped miserably everywhere it has been attempted. It-does-not-work. People shop politically with their pocket-books in one hand. There’s a growing market demand for Personal Security… for competition to flaccid “Social” Security. We can win those shoppers simply by offering a choice! Opt-in or opt-out. – Ed.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. John Doe permalink
    2010/08/12 17:24

    Gallop’s last poll that I saw had libertarians at somewhere betwee 4-7% of the pop of the USA. Not sure it is politically expedient to act bold in order to garner at most 7% of the vote when that same bold move loses many multiples of that percentage. Why don’t we repeal all the civil rights laws at the same time, Dr. Paul? (snarky reference to Rand Paul)

    I’m not saying that I disagree with you, only that the proposal has already been shown to have been dead in the water politically. I deal with reality, how things are, not how they ought to be…

  2. 2010/08/12 18:45

    Thanks JD, but it ain’t about attracting “Libertarian” votes.

    The bulk of the “moderates, centrists and independents” are political shoppers. Reagan offered-up some hard-core Libertarian ideas… and he won huge majorities doing so with this band of “non-Libertarians” in tow. The point is, they wanted better ideas, even if not forever, than what Jimmy Carter had been selling.

    Same thing is happening now – those “in the middle” are doubting the claims of the Left.

    Which means a lot of ’em are re-examining their earlier reticence over canning the SS. Everyone now knows it was always just a tax. Everyone now knows it was a Ponzi hoax. There just is no longer a majority who buy the claim that SS will “be there for them.”

    Phasing-out “Social Security” was, until very recently, a politically suicidal notion. No longer. That is reality.

  3. John Doe permalink
    2010/08/12 22:25

    That was a thoughtful reply, but your conclusions that “everyone” knows SS is a Ponzi scheme and “everyone” knows it is a tax reminds me of what somebody said about a recent presidential election, and I paraphrase: It must have been a stolen election because nobody that I know voted for GWB (or whomever the quote was about).

    I agree, that in thoughtful company, everyone knows what you suggest. But in the great un-washed society that composes the electorate, there are PLENTY of people who do not yet know what you and I know. Not claiming some sort of superiority over others out there, I’m just stating facts.

    My mother, MY MOTHER for God’s sake, who had voted Republican all her life, at least that is what she told my dearly departed father, broke down and voted for Obama. Not for any reason other than the Obamster got more favorable air time. And I would suggest that she is not alone. Most people are apolitical, and don’t know a fraction of what we know, because they don’t care. But they still get to vote!

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