Sunday, August 12, 2012

Robin Hood in Reverse and Social Security ... An Example ... Let's Stop the Silliness

Last week President Obama accused Mitt Romney of advocating a reverse Robin Hood, or what he called a Romney Hood, approach to taxation.

He said Romney wanted to rob from the poor 'middle class' and give to the rich by cutting taxes for the millionaires and billionaires, defined by the President as those earning $200,000 annually. Of course, that's not true about Romney, but what is true is that's what our President of all the people said about some of We the People.

How not increasing taxes on the rich gives them any more money than what they already have --- well, only people like President Obama can understand that kind of thinking.

In any event, Obama claims Romney wants to take from the poor 'middle class' and give tax cuts to the rich. I won't comment further on Obama's claim except to say that he must really believe that We the People are completely clueless. And, of course, some of us are.

In any event, here are my top ten questions that I have about this interesting Robin Hood in reverse concept described by our President. They overwhelmingly relate to Social Security but in principle apply equally to other areas as well, of course. Such as Medicare.

And the questions concern why we rob from the younger poor and give to the older rich among us. Doesn't that better illustrate the idea of Robin Hood in reverse, Mr. President and Congress?

(1) Why does government confiscate 12.4% (inclusive of both employee and employer contributions) of pay from our younger struggling workers and then give what's left of thier "contributions," after passing through the wasteful government bureaucracy, to the older retirees among us, many of whom can otherwise afford to pay for all or at least most of their own retirement? Isn't that just a way of stealing from the young worker in order to give to the old voter -- er -- retiree, after deducting the government's "handling charge," of course?

(2) In other words, why do birthdays matter more than means when determining how much to charge the young workers to pay for the old retirees? Isn't that Robin Hood in reverse? Obama Hood perhaps?

(3) And why do we force We the People to participate in Social Security and buy uncompetitive "annuities" from the government instead of allowing people to keep their money and perhaps purchase better annuities from private insurance companies? Why not give free people a free choice?

(4) Why won't we allow the market to work, and why do we insist on government knows best rules and regulations when it comes to retirement income and how it's funded, as well as by whom?

(5) And if the government knows best gang still wants to practice "paternalism" and force workers and their employers to set aside 12.4% of their pay toward retirement instead of whatever they would otherwise choose to do with their MOM, why do we not allow these workers to invest their 12.4% in well performing companies over time such as the low cost and high return S&P 500 Equity Index funds offered by Vanguard and Fidelity Funds, as examples? Why keep the workers from earning market based investment returns on their contributions? Isn't that "stupid paternalism?"

(6) Why do government elitists conclude that government knows best and We the People know nothing about what to do with the money we earn? Why do we have record deficits and an enormous national debt if government officials really know best?

(7) And why do we favor the old retiree over the younger worker by making the workers set aside a substantial part of their income for the benefit of retirees, many of whom could afford to go it alone? Could it somehow relate to the fact that more older folks vote than others?

(8) And why does one's birthday determine when the young people start paying for the old people's retirement benefits?

(9 Speaking of birthdays, if teachers can retire with a full pension at age 50 or so, why don't we just let everybody start collecting Social Security at age 50 instead of waiting until their 60s? How about 40?

(10) Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that we've made promises that we can't keep, either to younger workers, older workers, teachers, taxpayers, retirees or countless others? And are politicians afraid to tell We the People the truth? Or don't politicians, including the President, understand the situation? Either way, isn't that scary?

Summing Up

We have to start talking seriously about this stuff and leave Robin Hood out of the conversation.

He can't solve our financial problems.

There aren't enough rich people to rob.

And compared to the enormous size of our fiscal deficits and national debts, they don't have all that much money to rob anyway.

Thanks. Bob.

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