Ron Paul sure had a lot to say during his appearance on Meet The Press with David Gregory on Sunday. He talked about the war in Iraq, said he would abolish federal student loans, and compared taxation to stealing and said he would repeal the 16th Amendment. But Paul also had much to say about Social Security and to put it simply, he wants to strangle it.
MR. GREGORY: Social Security, you talk in your plan about allowing young people to opt out.
REP. PAUL: That’s–yeah.
MR. GREGORY: Would you–is your ultimate goal that Social Security should go away?
REP. PAUL: I, I think it–there is a much better chance that it would be solvent. It’s totally insolvent now. But my plan explicitly protects the elderly and the sick in the transition to be taken care of. The young get out, but the only way we can guarantee that the elderly will be taken care of is cutting spending. That’s why offer a trillion dollars. So the elderly now are reassured. “Well, he’s serious. He’s not going to waste all this money overseas and all this foreign aid and expenses.”
MR. GREGORY: But you–so you cut benefits?
REP. PAUL: No.
MR. GREGORY: Eventually, would you have to do that?
REP. PAUL: Not, not if you…
MR. GREGORY: If young people are opting out and not paying in.
REP. PAUL: I would balance–I would balance the budget. There would be no inflation, no reason for increase in cost of living increase. And, in time, I think you could raise this age. Mine was 25 and under, but it should–the only complaint I’ve gotten so far is somebody came up to me and says, “I’m 26. Why don’t you let me get out?” And…
MR. GREGORY: Let me, let me…
REP. PAUL: And, and I think that’s what the move will be because they want to–people want to assume responsibility for themselves.
Here’s the video:
Under Paul’s plan, young people can opt out of Social Security, which would starve the program of funds for future generations. But Paul says it would make the program more solvent. However, if that’s the case, why did he also say that he would put one trillion dollars into it to take care of senior citizens in the program? Paul, of course, is basing his new plan on the claim that a 26 year old came up to him and said he wanted to opt out.
Paul’s plan is no more than a veiled effort to gradually strangle the 76 year old program that is highly popular among the American people. The fact is, Social Security serves a purpose in our society. During the Great Depression, the poverty rate among senior citizens was over 50%. Today, a majority of seniors are above the poverty line because of Social Security. Letting young people opt out of the program would be disastrous to the system. Without payments into the system from younger generations, it guarantees that Social Security would not be around when they become senior citizens. In other words, Social Security dies and those new unprotected seniors face poverty. If Republicans really wanted to make Social Security indefinitely solvent, they would create jobs or apply the payroll tax to all income over $100,000. But Ron Paul’s plan is only meant to destroy.