Family Security MattersPaul Hollrah
Futurist Gerald Celente, CEO of Trends Research Institute, predicted in 2008 that, by 2012, America would become â€œan undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts.
â€œWeâ€™re going to see the end of the retail Christmasâ€¦ weâ€™re going to see a fundamental shift take placeâ€¦ putting food on the table is going to be more important than putting gifts under the Christmas tree.â€ He suggests that the situation will be â€œworse than the great depression.â€
â€œAmericaâ€™s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for,â€ Celente warns, noting that peopleâ€™s refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis.
As prescient as Celente has beenâ€¦ he correctly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union and the Crash of 1987â€¦ he is arguably wrong about two things: First, his timing is a bit compressed. The collapse he predicts is likely to occur between 2012 and 2015. And finally, if his dire prediction does come true, it is not â€œdenialâ€ that will cause the American people to be blindsided. They will be caught off guard and unprepared simply because, for the past half century, or more, they have been consistently lied to, misled, and propagandized by liberals, Democrats, and the mainstream media.
The Social Security System is a case in point. When the Social Security System began making monthly payments in 1940, there were 16 workers paying into the system for every retiree drawing benefits. By 1950 that ratio was at 16.5-to-1, it is roughly 3.3-to-1 today, and by the year 2040, or before, it will be 2-to-1, or less.
The Social Security System was never intended to be a retirement program for the elderly; it was intended only as a supplement to personal savings and private retirement plans. Nevertheless, in the decades since the early 1940s, Democrats have led their target audienceâ€¦ those in the uneducated and the lower economic classesâ€¦ to the mistaken belief that they could rely on Social Security for their primary retirement income. In promoting that myth, they have turned Social Security into a political â€œfootball,â€ the deadly â€œthird railâ€ of American politics.
The first monthly Social Security check, in the amount of $22.54, was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. Ms. Fuller, a retired legal secretary, had paid a total of $24.75 into the system during the three years that her employer had deducted FICA taxes from her paycheck. She was 65 years of age when she retired and she died in 1975 at age 100. In the 35 years that she collected Social Security benefits she received a total of $22,888.92.
While an extreme example, Ms. Fuller was only the first of millions whoâ€™ve drawn far more out of the system than theyâ€™ve paid in. But this was not unexpected. When the architects of the New Deal conceived the Social Security System in 1935 they knew that the day would come when the dependency ratio would approach 2-to-1, but they also knew that when that day arrived they would be long gone from this Earth and it would be someone elseâ€™s problem to deal with. In the meantime, liberals and Democrats could use the system to great political advantage.
The sole voice of reason in the Roosevelt Administration was Treasury Secretary Morgenthau. Morgenthau argued that Social Security should be operated on an actuarially sound basis, but he was overruled by the big government spenders and the social welfare advocates in the Democratic hierarchy. Instead, the Social Security Trust Fund has been used like a giant piggy bank, providing funds to finance wars and every conceivable kind of social welfare scheme.
Just as Barack Obama had his chief strategist, Chicago political thug Rahm Emanuel, who insists that â€œa crisis is a terrible thing to waste,â€ FDR had his Harry Hopkins, a senior advisor described in declassified KGB documents as a Soviet agent of â€œmajor significance.â€ After Democrats had gained prohibitive majorities in both houses of Congress in 1932, Hopkins is quoted as saying, â€œBoy, this is our hour. We've got to get everything we want â€“ a works program, social security, wages and hoursâ€¦ everythingâ€¦ now or never!!â€
Beginning in the 1930s, liberals have purchased the farm vote with crop subsidies, price supports, and land banks. Theyâ€™ve purchased the black vote with welfare payments, food stamps, rent subsidies, and sub-prime mortgages. And theyâ€™ve purchased the votes of blue collar workers with uneconomic minimum wage rates, protectionist trade policies, and anti-business workplace intrusion.
In more recent times theyâ€™ve purchased the votes of trial lawyers with protection from tort reform and with the burgeoning growth of lawyer-friendly government bureaucracies. Theyâ€™ve purchased the votes of environmental activists with endangered species lists, wetlands land grabs, oppressive air and water quality regulations, and job-killing cap-and-trade legislation. Theyâ€™ve purchased the votes of gays and lesbians with promises of support for same-sex marriage, hate-crime legislation, and repeal of the militaryâ€™s â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ policy. And theyâ€™ve purchased the votes of classroom teachers with ever-increasing education spending, shrinking class sizes, and protection from private and parochial school competition.
By its very nature, the Democratic Party is, and always has been, a coalition of special interests with but one thing in common: they are all in it because they want something from government. And now theyâ€™re hot on the trail of yet another political prizeâ€¦ the Hispanic vote.
As an indicator of how obtuse their political thinking is, liberals are accustomed, as we all are, to producing some form of personal identification when theyâ€™re pulled over by a traffic cop; when they make credit card purchases; when they apply for Social Security or Medicare benefits; when they apply for a visa or a passport; when they apply for or renew a driverâ€™s license; when they check in at an airport or train station; and when they cash a $10 check at the local Wal-Mart.
In all of these instances they, more than conservatives and Republicans, happily provide the necessary ID. However, what they do object to, and violently so, is: a) the notion that anyone should be required to prove their identity when they attempt to vote on Election Day, and b) that illegal aliens should be required to identify themselves when they are stopped by local police or federal immigration authorities. Thatâ€™s where liberals draw the line.
If one did not understand that it is liberals, almost exclusively, who clamor for a broad amnesty program to give citizenship and voting rights to 20 or 30 million illegal aliens, their position on Arizonaâ€™s new immigration law would be totally incomprehensible. But once we understand that what liberal elites are interested in is not a better life for the poor and downtrodden who flock across our borders, but the addition of 20 or 30 million new liberal voters to the registration rollsâ€¦ it all becomes crystal clear.
The American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, are devoutly opposed to illegal immigrationâ€¦ just as they would be devoutly opposed to burglars who might sneak into their homes in the middle of the night. What they have not caught onto as yet is the high stakes gamble that Obama and his Democratic allies are taking with our national sovereignty.
For the first 223 years of our nationâ€™s history, from 1787 until the present day, we have been able to indulge the fantasies of those who insisted that a big, all-powerful federal government was the answer to all problems. Our economy was big enough and strong enough to withstand their most outrageous excesses. But NO MORE.
It is of little consolation that some of the brightest political pundits and the late night comics are belatedly catching on to who and what Obama is. Clarice Feldman of American Thinker tells us that Obama is failing â€œbecause fundamentally he is neither smart nor articulate; his intellectual dishonesty is conspicuous by its audacity and lack of shame.â€
Geoffrey Hunt has written in American Thinker, â€œBarack Obama is on track to have the most spectacularly failed presidency since Woodrow Wilson.â€
Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal has written that, â€œHe is failing because he has no understanding of the American people, and may indeed loathe them.â€
As we observe Barack Obama in action, one could almost be convinced that his primary purpose is to make Gerald Celenteâ€™s most dire predictions come true. Our jobâ€¦ yours and mineâ€¦ is to stand in his way. And once he is gone from the scene and we have begun the impossible task of cleaning up after him, let us resolve that his will be the lastâ€¦ i.e. the finalâ€¦ liberal administration to ever occupy the White House. And if independents and independent-minded Democrats should ever wonder why, they will have Obamaâ€™s two appointees to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor and Kagan, to refresh their memories. They will be his sad legacy.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Paul Hollrah is a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute.