John Stossel

If you want evidence, listen to how politicians talk about your Social Security "contributions." They are taxes and nothing more. No one pretends they are premiums. In fact, President Obama and the Republicans want to stimulate the economy by extending a cut in the payroll tax for workers and cutting the employer's share of the tax -- but without reducing Social Security benefits.

Now, I like tax cuts more than the next person, but as Freeman editor Sheldon Richman points out, this one has a complication the politicians don't seem to care about:

"President Obama's jobs program calls for cuts in both sides of the payroll tax. That tax finances Social Security and Medicare. Social Security and Medicare are already taking in less money than they need to pay retirees. So they will have to cash in more of the Treasury IOUs left behind when previous surpluses were used to finance general expenditures. But the Treasury is also already running a deficit, a trillion dollars-plus. So it will have to borrow more in the capital markets in order to pay back the Social Security and Medicare funds. Unless Obama makes up the lost revenue by changing the tax code. But then money will be withdrawn from the economy in the form of higher taxes so it can be put back into the economy through the payroll-tax cut. Somehow that's supposed to stimulate the economy."

Like all jobs programs, Obama's latest plan is a scam. The economy would create ample opportunities to earn income -- and make it easier for people to look after themselves in retirement -- if the government would just slash spending, taxes, regulation and privilege.

Ponzi scheme or not, we wouldn't need Social Security.


John Stossel

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of "No They Can't: Why Government Fails, but Individuals Succeed." To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at >johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. ©Creators Syndicate