Star Parker

Americans, white and black, rich and poor, can take care of themselves. We don't need politicians using our personal tragedies as an excuse to spend money that isn't theirs in the first place to try and buy votes and popularity.

I wonder how many fellow citizens can appreciate that the debacle we just experienced on the attempted reform of Social Security is a carbon copy of what we have just witnessed in New Orleans.

Just as the substandard levees in New Orleans were widely reported but ignored, so our bankrupt Social System is widely reported and ignored.

The system's own trustees report shows that in fewer than 15 years more funds will be going out each year than coming in. Simple arithmetic shows that the system is a bad deal for everyone and that the only way to keep things going as they are is to take a bad deal and make it worse by raising taxes and cutting benefits.

Yet, our politicians cannot find it within themselves to be straightforward with the very people who elect them and provide leadership toward a new and workable retirement paradigm for Americans based on ownership.

As in New Orleans, those who bear the brunt of the neglect are the poor. When Katrina was approaching, those with resources had mobility to flee. With our Social Security system, those with resources have alternative means for building wealth and a retirement nest egg.

Meanwhile, the poor must continue to take what might have been saved from their paycheck and pay payroll taxes into a bankrupt system that has no prospect of giving a justifiable return on investment. When these folks retire in dire straits, we'll hear that it is because of racism.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.