For Immediate Release Thursday, August 14, 2008
Says the U.S. ‘cannot afford to wait any longer’ for reform
“The US is facing a financial tsunami as the Baby Boomers retire,’ warns Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, on the 73rd anniversary of Social Security being signed into law. ‘The total unfunded liability for Social Security and Medicare is more than $100 trillion — that is ten times the official national debt! The longer we wait to act, the harder it will be to reform the system,’ says Barr.
‘Social Security was sold to the American people as a system of social insurance, but that was merely a polite fraud to win their votes,’ notes Barr. ‘It is a pay-as-you-go system. If it was run by a private company rather than the government, the managers would be jailed for running a Ponzi scheme, one of the classic investment swindles. The so-called trust fund doesn’t exist: in reality, it is a file cabinet full of IOUs rather than a vault full of cash,’ he explains.
‘The system is headed towards financial collapse,’ Barr adds. ‘It starts running a deficit in 2017 and the red ink piles up fast. In essence, to keep the system afloat we will either have to double taxes or halve benefits. Neither is an appealing option.’
‘Moreover, the rate of return for beneficiaries keeps falling. Many Americans are now losing money. Over the long term the most the majority of people can hope for is to make a percent or so — compared to 5.5 percent a year on average for a private investment in a mixture of bonds and stocks,’ Barr observes. ‘The U.S. government is literally stealing people’s retirement from them.’
‘I am proposing a system of private retirement accounts,’ explains Barr. Younger workers will be able to put increasing amounts of their tax payments into individual accounts. New workers entering the system will be able to exit Social Security entirely. The transition will be paid for in part through savings from adjusting benefits to account for the erroneous use of a wage rather than price index for setting payments and the fact that beneficiaries are living longer. Other savings will be achieved by cutting nonessential programs throughout the government, including corporate welfare,’ he adds.
‘We cannot afford to wait any longer,’ Barr observes. ‘One of the most important tests for the next president is a willingness to lead. The American people deserve to have a retirement system which they can count on.’
For Barr’s complete position paper on Social Security, click here .
Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA. Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizens’ right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.
The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.