The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

The Government Owes Me One (or a Million)

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The current hullabaloo over Social Security reform is a good opportunity to exemplify the power of faith. A recently conducted New York Times/CBS poll found that 79% of people polled believe that it is the government’s responsibility to provide a decent standard of living for the elderly. Read that last sentence again. Over 3 out of 4 people think it’s the government’s job to secure the standard of living for the elderly. Now read the Constitution—the document that outlines what the government’s job actually is. If you find anything in there about retirement, social security, or the standard of living for the elderly, you are not reading the Constitution. “We the People” have turned retirement into a golden calf for worshiping.

Apparently 79% of us would rather rely on the government to provide us with financial well-being in our old age than our own preparation and saving. I would like to remind the 79% among us that the government has been in control of your retirement fund ever since 1935. And this is the point behind the whole debate. If I want to opt-out and take my chances on my own retirement, why shouldn’t I have that option? Even if I am willing to absolve the federal government of any responsibility for my retirement provision, I am still not able to leave the system. My membership and contributions are compulsory. Be wary of anything that cannot and will not tolerate competition.

Of course, “the Government” doesn’t have any money. Well, that’s not completely true. It can print money, but most of what our Government redistributes comes by way of tax confiscation. If nearly 80% of the people believe “the Government” should maintain their financial future, what they’re really saying is that the other 20% should be forced to help them do it. While nearly everybody would consider it wrong for me to compel (rob) a neighbor to pay for my retirement, few people have a problem electing people to office to do it under the provision of law and by force.

Further on in the poll, the question is asked if the respondents believe that Social Security will have the money available to provide the benefits that they expect to receive for their retirement years. Only 34% believed that it would. To be fair, this figure has been lower in the past—1996 and 1997 to be exact—precisely when the Government Entitlement King and his administration were in office. But this puts the whole affair into perspective. Only 34% currently trust the government’s ability to provide what they say they can provide, but 79% want them to control it anyway. This is called blind faith. In spite of all the evidence, regardless of the mis-management of the funds that have already been funneled into the SS system, and because we are under the assumption that retirement funding is a right, not a personal responsibility, we are willing to hand over control of our and our children’s futures because some career bureaucrat in Washington (who, incidentally, is not paying into and depending on the SS system) promises that the money will be there.

Social Security is a multi-billion dollar confidence game. We’ve peeked behind the curtain and have seen with our own eyes that the Wizard of SS is no more capable of running the system than we are ourselves. Why not let individuals control their own retirement? Who else knows, cares, and will plan as well for your and your family’s best financial interests? If a society abandons its faith and trust in God, it will put that faith and trust elsewhere. The State has become sovereign to 79% of the polled public. If only Jesus Christ and his absolute Word were sovereign to 79% of the professing church, we would see a dramatic, optimistic and hopeful turnaround in this country of 300 million faithful followers.

Next week we’ll examine the power of the polls and how these astounding statistics need to be taken with caution. “Things aren’t always as clear as they appear…”

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