In the late 1970s and early 1980s, three Texas counties opted out of the federal Social Security program. After twenty-something years, they’ve had pretty decent results, with workers earning two and three times what they would have with Social Security.
What I don’t get is that no one sees this as a success. I mean it’s easy enough – create a program that bests the one the government has and phase that one in instead. Why hasn’t it happened that way?
Because the government has found themselves another way to keep things funded. All they have to do is keep the program running well enough to pay out some benefits, and everyone thinks that it is wonderful and no one will touch it. It’s long been considered the third rail of American politics, with no one wanting to get near it. So in the meantime, the federal government gets this tidy source of income that doesn’t have to be earmarked for the day they actually have to pay it back, and we fall further in the hole every day.
I tell you what, Washington: Take your program and shove it. I want out. I realize that this means that I will not be able to collect Social Security when I turn 62 or 65 or 90 or whatever the date is when I actually get that “privilege”. I don’t care. I want out, and I will relinquish all rights to money or any other benefits in the future, provided you let me out now.
Obviously this is not an open-ended offer. If I pay into the program all my life, you’re absolutely correct in assuming that I’d want to get something back out of it. So in the spirit of cooperation, I’ll let the offer stand all year. Until December 31, 2004, if you let me out of the program now and forever more, I will not ask for a dime when that date comes later in my life.
You want to save money? Start here. I’m sure a number of like-minded individuals will only too happily give up the “privilege” of allowing you to handle a part of our retirement. I know I can do a lot better with my money, and I’m willing to make this deal to prove it. This country isn’t about liberty any more, it’s about seeing how many places the government can stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong. Some people might like that. I don’t.