The Song Remains The Same
The Milton Friedman video above is part of this post at the Belmont Club.
Watch and read it all, but pay special attention to the adamant commenters insisting that they will have at least what they paid into Social Security.
Thing is, that money that you paid into SocSec all your life is already spent.
Read this Cato Institute mythbuster on the real deal behind Social Security:
...Moreover, the figures may not accurately reflect the budgetary impact of the Social Security program. If the U.S. government was required to account for Social Security as private businesses must account for their retirement benefits, that is, to show its current unfunded pension liability, the national debt would be $17 trillion (rather than $5 trillion) [WRSA Note: these are 1995 figures(!)] because of the enormous obligation represented by the federal government's commitment to citizens under Social Security.
The federal government's handling of pension monies is very different from that of private pension plans. Whereas contributions to private pension plans are invested in private-sector financial assets (stocks, bonds, and other instruments that provide a claim against real assets), Social Security revenues that are not paid out to current beneficiaries are not saved or invested in the marketplace. The funds are borrowed by the federal government to pay current operating expenses and replaced with government bonds. When the time comes for the federal government, which holds no earmarked assets for the contingency, to repay those obligations, it will have to do so by issuing additional debt or raising taxes. Instead of holding investments with real assets underlying their value, the Social Security "trust" fund represents claims based on the federal government's ability to tax, or continue to borrow from, the next generation of participants in the economy. For a variety of reasons discussed here, the burden existing promises impose on future generations is so great that it threatens the very existence of the Social Security program unless significant changes are undertaken...
Here's some more background.
Back to our friendly Belmont Club commenters -- just know that every time someone says, "I just want what I paid in", what they are really saying is the following:
"I either know or don't know that the money I paid into Social Security has already been spent. I don't care. I just want my effing money -- and that means I am OK with taking the proceeds today of armed theft via taxation from YOU, you taxpaying pantsload chump."
The wiseguys in Goodfellas had a more simple explanation (language warning):
Those are your fellow Americans for you, and it's why this country's terminal phase is going to make the former Yugoslavia's bloody implosion look like a Fourth of July sparkler.
Here's your map.