Once upon a time I was an award-winning newspaper columnist with a reputation for bashing Bill Clinton and other liberals and their agendas. Ironically, it was columns attacking Oklahoma’s former Republican governor, Frank Keating, that helped me win many of those awards.
My column writing began when Frank signed into law a bill allowing cops to stop people for no other reason than not wearing their seat belts and ticketing them for it. Later, I had the chance to interview him in person about being a Republican and signing such a Big Brother piece of legislation. He repeated the same thing that I knew from the beginning was a lie. He said he didn’t see the bill as Big Brotherish and that it would save Oklahomans money because insurance rates would go down because fewer people would be seriously hurt or killed in car accidents.
Carroll Fisher, the Democrat insurance commissioner at the time, agreed the law would cause rates to go down. I asked him how much, and he couldn’t give an answer.
The number of auto related fatalities has dropped in Oklahoma since then. But ya know what? My insurance rates today are considerably higher than they were in 1997 when that bill became law. You know what else? My car insurance rates go up a few dollars just about every time the premium is due. Frank, you’re a liar. Carroll Fisher, you’re a liar, too … but then your impeachment kind of proved that, huh?
This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to seat belts. I wear them now. But I don’t think the government should be telling me I have to protect myself.
Which brings up the Social Security debate and a lie told by another Frank, this one a Democrat, a president of the United States, with the last name of Roosevelt. In 1935 FDR pledged that if workers paid a Social Security tax on all of their wages, they would be supported in their old age. By that, he meant folks over the age of 65. The average life expectancy of a man in 1935 was 60 years. In 1937 the Social Security tax was 2 percent of your wages.
Think about that. The government began confiscating 2 percent of every workers’ wages, promising to pay the money back five years after the worker was supposed to die.
Why create Social Security in the first place? Because the government believed the American people were too damn dumb to save for their own retirement. Unfortunately, in many cases that’s true.
Now, is your Social Security tax still just 2 percent of your wages? Nope. It’s gone up steadily, just like my car insurance premiums. Will Social Security take care of you? I look at my wife’s grandparents, who are both in their 80s, both of whom believed that the government was making plans to take care of them in their “golden years,” and I’d laugh if it wasn’t so sad. They are both forced to work to supplement the meager amount they’re getting back in Social Security. But they can’t work too much, or they’ll lose the right to reclaim money taken from them earlier in their lives. It’s absurd.
I don’t expect Social Security to take care of me when I’m old. I don’t want the government to take care of me. I want the government to leave me the hell alone. I want to keep the money the government is stealing and I want to put it in an account I can manage, one that will do what the stock market has done, which is steadily rise in value over the years. Yes, there are recessions, but if you look at the history of the stock market, it always bounces back and increases in value at a rate that outpaces inflation.
Big Brother is making me wear my seat belt so I don’t die early in a car accident. Now quit taking my money. Let me use it to plan my own retirement so that I don’t end up driving a school bus or greeting shoppers when I’m in my 80s. America was made by people who could take care of themselves. Now we’re a nation of people who too often look for the government tit. I want to be weaned.
Now, I expect to see replies to this, people whining, “What about the people who won’t invest their money for retirement?” How is that my problem? If they don’t invest for retirement, apparently they’ll never be able to retire. If they want to continue investing in Social Security, letting the federal government be their daddy, let them. But let those of us who take responsibility for our lives and actions opt out of the Social Security scam.