I am starting to believe I may live to see a return on my Social Security contributions. Unlike Maddoff, this government sanctioned Ponzi scheme won't blow up for a while. Unfortunately, it looks like the coming generation that is supposed to pay my benefit is stupider than its progenitors. This is the first time ever in the history of our country the next generation may not be more productive than the previous. Social Security benefits are probably going down in my tenure. (By the way, the courts favor the view that while Uncle Sam can tax your payroll to pay Social Security, you have no right to collect. That is some good news anyway, as it gives politicians a way out of this mess.)
However, I have savings and investments made in anticipation of this outcome. Ha! Take that you generation of neer-do-wells!
Yet, if the recession deepens, my investments may vanish due to deflation. The increasing taxes here in CA may contribute to that deflation. One reason that taxes may go up is the CalPERS retirement fund fiasco. Down 41% over 2008, CalPERS, the nation’s largest public pension plan, provides retirement and health benefits to more than 1.6 million state and local public employees and their families. As the Sacramento Bee noted in its editorial page, CA taxpayers may be on the hook for the poor performance of the CalPERS retirement fund. "In the short term, governments have no choice but to pay increased pension contributions. In the long run, they should reduce retirement benefits for new workers to more reasonable and affordable levels."
The Bee makes the point that taxpayers should not have to pay for the idiocy and greed of the CalPERS fund managers, and also that, ah, oh by the way, the extravagant retirement benefits are outrageous. (Retirement benefit generosity, by the way, is what almost drove San Diego into bankruptcy in 2004.) Now, it is the voters that have tied the hands of California government with spending and taxing mandates that limit the politician response, similar to the conditions that helped lead Orange County into bankruptcy.
Here is an idea, how about let the retirees manage their own retirement money? You are a government worker? You get a retirement account you can invest any way you want. You can't touch it until you retire -- that takes the politicians and the other retards out of the equation. If you lose your investment, no one is to blame, and no one has to pay for your mistake but you. Personal responsibility! Freedom! What a concept!
By taking the government out of the business of managing peoples money, we eliminate the risk that elected or appointed managers will squander our investment through fraud, waste and abuse. How many examples do we need (CalPERS, Orange County, Social Security) to establish that letting government managing our funds is a bad idea!
Re-introducing personal responsibility into the lives of our citizens has the added benefit of course of eliminating the cost associated with hiring and firing the dolts that manage the CalPERS fund, the building they work out of, the red tape et al. It is more efficient! That may be the only chance we have of increasing productivity for the coming generation -- taking goverment out of the equation.
MaxedOutMama looks at the current state of Social Security.