I have been floating two theories around in my head and on paper for over a year now. Both are intensely controversial, fraught with possible problems and most likely never to be implemented anyways because we do not solve problems anymore today. We talk about them. Then we talk about what we talked about and give the naysayers their time in the sun to tell every one why we still need to talk more about a particular problem and not jump to a hasty decision.
So, talk some more about these ideas and be sure not to make a hasty decision.
But I am getting side tracked.
The two theories are these;
1; A policy that allows a citizen to Opt out of Social Security and just get their money back to invest and pass along to posterity.
2; We send a check for one million dollars to every American man, woman and child citizen. In fact, we do this twice and I will explain that as we go along here.
The Opt Out Policy
Every few years we all get a letter from Social security telling us how much money has been stolen..er... paid into the system for retirement. We all know our money pays for those in retirement now and we will never see any of our money when it is our turn, ever. Why the wealthy get Social Security is beyond me. Part of the Opt Out Policy would be to settle on a lump sum for them and be done with it. Besides, the money they paid in went to some poor shmuck who died years ago anyways so they are finished paying. I am not going to give one more dime to some former CEO of EXXON on oxygen.
There are also the millions who die long before they get to collect a penny of Social Security. That money miraculously goes up into the sky somewhere. Unless you leave behind under age children no one else in your family will see that money. Here is a feature of my Opt Out Theory. You get to leave it to them.
There are also those who will choose to not opt out, others who are too close to retirement anyways, some who are infirmed, under the poverty level and who wish to keep things as they are. They have every right to not opt out.
First thing we do is abandon the mandatory retirement age. No entity has any right to force an individual into retirement. That decision should be a private contract between employer and employee. The whole notion of mandatory retirement is a violation of the three principles of our Declaration of Independence; Life ( one worth living) Liberty ( simple freedom to do as one wishes) and Pursuit of Happiness (government leave me alone).
Again, I want to emphasize that if an individual wants no part of this that is their right to take no part. This is hard for many Progressives to understand. Their entire model is based upon a compliance to a central authority and that authority's dictum. Freedom and choice is an oxymoron to them unless you are having an abortion.
Essentially, all that money you have paid in? You get it all back in a check. Forget the interest, you were never going to get it anyways so take what is yours and call it a day. You, basically declare to the Federal Government that you wish to Opt Out of Social Security payments. I would suggest here that you wait till you have paid in for a long time so you can cash in big.
Now some would argue that the lump sum would be more that your actual benefits paid out over time. Not true. There are too many stories of individuals who either never paid into the system or started paying in later who ended up receiving far more payments than they put in. And here is a restriction that would be implemented; that only those who have worked an accrued minimal time of 30 years and have paid in are allowed to opt out. No welfare mothers, illegals, SSI people, homeless, prisoners, etc are allowed to partake in the Opt Out Policy. Just hard working Americans. If you choose to continue working, fine. Your weekly check just got a little bigger. If you choose to opt out and retire with your lump sum. Enjoy! You deserve it!
But there is a caveat. You cannot withdraw or access any of the money until age 65. Again, if you are over 65 take the money and run. But if you are (say) 48 and you decide to opt out. That check must be deposited into a secure CD, IRA, Bond or some other safe and secure investment. You will not be allowed to gamble it away on NASDAQ or Las Vegas. It must be put away to gain interest, grow and be part of the economic system until age 65. Let us say you want to start a business before 65. Well now, your lump sum is now your collateral for a bank loan to be strictly monitored by that bank as to their level of return upon the loan to you. Payments towards that loan can be tied to the interest gained from your secure CD, IRA, etc. Or you can just pay back the loan yourself from profits of your new business.
You simply cannot cash the check and blow it on cocaine and hookers.. Sorry Charlie Sheen. It must be put away. Here is the reason why.
Unlike Social Security. If you die before 65, or shortly after. That money goes to your posterity. You can leave it to your cat for all I care in your Last Will and Testament. Leave it to a charity, a church, donate it to UNICEF the RNC or DNC. It is your money and you can do as you wish with it.
Here is the second caveat.
If you leave it to an organization they get the money outright. However, if you leave it to your wife, girlfriend, gay lover, children, the guy next door. They also cannot access the money until age 65. It remains secure and growing until such time. Again. All loans they wish to take out are subject to the same rules I stated earlier.
Do you see what happens here? Wealth gets created. This would never happen under Social Security. Again if you buy the farm before 65 and you have no under age children your money is gone brother! Under the Opt Out Policy, any one you put down in your Will gets that money lock stock and barrel.
Wealth gets created. Banks become more fiscally sound, local communities get better access to private loans, banks become competitive again in the markets. Economies grow and more families become financially secure over time.
You will be taxed on that interest. You can choose to pay a lump sum when you turn 65 and access the money or just pay as you go until 65. You will not avoid taxes on interest gained and no surtaxes will be applied. A simple Capital Gains tax is all that is needed.
Nor will this mean an end to The Social Security Administration. SSI people will still exist. You still need to pay into the system for 30 years and we will always have the sick and poor to help. So, the argument that a government agency ceases to exist becomes a non sequitor. It simply will not happen.
The Million Dollar Bonanza
Remember when GW gave a rebate check back to Americans? Did you get yours? I did. It was $300. Whoopdi- doo! I paid my overdue electric bill.
The budget surplus was in the billions of dollars when Bush took office and came up with that scheme. Every American man, woman and child citizen could have cashed a check for 1 million dollars and there would still be money left over. Our current economic GDP (despite the recession) is over four trillion a year. The government budget is over two trillion a year. The amount of profits stashed overseas by corporations is estimated in the dozens of trillions. Oprah alone could give away a million dollars a year to American citizens and it wouldn't affect her bottom line one iota.
A one million dollar check to American citizens is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the total wealth of the Western Economies and tax revenues combined.
In fact, I suggest we do it twice. One check one year and another one the following year.
Here are the caveats.
You must re-invest 30% of the initial one million back into the community or economy. Get ten of your friends together (who also got a check) and fund a women's shelter, a new school, pay for all the Little League and Pop Warner teams, anything community and/or charity related. Invest in a business or start one of your own. Either way, you must be able to prove within six months that you have accomplished any one or number of these requirements.
You cannot quit your job (unless you are joining or starting a new business). Hell, invest in your job, become a partner in it. If you do not have a job or are indigent, handi-capped, etc you must still invest 30% back to the community or economy and prove it within six months.
You must be a citizen. No negotiation on this.
There will be no price gouging. Stiff fines, prosecution and prison terms will be executed and the guilty will forfeit all monies from the check. Just because everyone is now a millionaire does not mean we should have to pay $100 for a gallon of milk.
If you are up for a raise in pay or a promotion you get that raise or promotion and any business owners found guilty of denying such promotions also forfeit their money as well as prosecution. If you are fired from your job and it can be proven that you thought you didn't have to work well anymore because you are a 'millionaire' now, you forfeit all money
Citizens whose income brackets are in the top percentile are exempt from receiving the one million dollars.. They have enough already.
What about the taxes?
Again if you proof the first 30% you are fine. However, you cannot spend the other 70% on frivolities (the cocaine and hookers clause). Even if you spend $500,000 on your dream home in Vermont. That still qualifies. You supported the local community by hiring contractors, design firms, furniture companies and you increased the property tax base. Send your kids to college loan free also qualifies. The litmus test is that you must improve your life and those around you. Sending the money to the Caymans does not qualify.
Choosing "D", all of the above, will make the one million dollars tax free. All other taxes will be paid in transactions, investments, dividends, etc.
You must account for every dollar spent so be ready to hire an accountant. Hiring an accountant also qualifies towards supporting the local economy and community.
Several things will happen here and the changes will be monumental. The overall economy will surge. Demand will rise and production will be forced to ramp up. With millionaires invested in their own jobs and new businesses that demand will be met and more wealth will be created. Communities will thrive, violence and crime will plummet. Some people will still not turn their lives around but because the rest of us have invested in our communities we can work towards helping these people or supplying incarceration no longer running at a deficit.
Children get better educated because local investments demand accountability locally.
Workers at the most menial level will find new purpose because they may have invested in their employers or they are relieved of the stress of day to day financial worries.
Singe Mothers go off of welfare, single Dads can pay back child support. Fines get paid, jail time for silly infractions get avoided. Trash gets picked up better, roads get repaired better.. The ripple effect is ever widening and ever more multiplied.
Did you know that most job related stress is caused (not by job stress) by financial stress amongst workers of their families or money responsibilities.
Now, here comes the most important caveat (there's that word again) of all.
The key wording in this whole idea is "Every American man, woman and child citizen." Therefore the money must be used to improve yourself and those around you as citizens. You cannot spend 30% as required then move to Italy and spend the 70% there. You cannot buy a yacht built in Holland and keep it in Miami and then do nothing with it. Have it built locally here, use it for Charter fishing, marine expeditions, school kids, science, exploration, and yes!! Your vacation.. On a fucking yacht! ..
Invest!!! Make more friggen money!!
Since it is all of our money anyways. We must be aware of our responsibilities with that money. If you can proof your first 30% and 2/3rds of your remaining 70% under these guidelines you get a second check the following year completely, exempt from, free of, spend as you wish, tax free of one million dollars..... Same rule still applies though. Re-invest, make it grow, make America grow, put that time in.
We create more wealth. Many will argue that this idea is another 'welfare program'. What if we could end welfare with this one move?.. Today we have long term pain on a short term growth. Well, since we are hurting anyways, let us hurt a little more for the long term relief.
Hell, we are spending the money anyways.. Just spend the money the right way!
Both policies I propose here will not affect our budget in any way.
Because money is all fake anyways. It is just a symbol of wealth (or poverty). Made of paper. Colorful paper. Printed from a machine. It represents nothing in an of itself except because of our perception of it.. We live and (far too many) die from that perception.
The perception deludes us into thinking some new endeavor is "too expensive". So we retard as a society. We retard into worker bees and levels of hierarchy. Fed dreams of a better day while we buy lattes and fight traffic half awake.... Ohh never mind...
It will never be. It cannot be! Can you imagine Americans wealthy, producing, growing and retirement free? Politicians will get hold of this and we will all be screwed in the end. They control the system now and if we hand them this idea they will F this up as well on their behalf.
....And That Is The Diatribe....