Monday, May 18, 2020

Jacob Hornberger: Abolish Social Security now

LP Presidential Candidate Jacob Hornberger on Socialism, Freedom, and Reform vs. Repeal | The Libertarian Republic - Gary Doan:

February 4, 2020 - "The day of the Iowa Caucuses ... I had a chance to talk to Jacob Hornberger. He’s the president and founder of the Future of Freedom Foundation, and is currently running for the Libertarian presidential nomination with the backing of the Mises Caucus....

"TLR: In your presidential campaign announcement video, you called the following things socialism: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, educational grants, farm subsidies, corporate bailouts and foreign aid to dictators. What does the US government currently do that you don’t think is socialism?

"JH:  Very little, in that the primary source, the driving force in the federal government is to take care of people through the coercive apparatus of the state. It seizes money from people to whom it belongs, and it gives it to people to whom it does not belong. That is classic socialism.... And many of these socialist programs came into existence as a direct result of socialists in Germany advocating them. Social Security is a primary example. The idea originated among German socialists. It was adopted by Otto von Bismarck, the so-called Iron Chancellor of Germany. It was imported to the United States and they became part of our laws in the 1930s....

"TLR: Last year, the US federal government spent something like a trillion dollars on Social Security, which makes it the largest federal program and about a quarter of the federal budget. It recently started paying out even more than it’s taken in through FICA. You’ve talked about literally abolishing it. If the world were to heed such advice, what time frame would be appropriate to accomplish that? And how would you advise winding such a large program down in a responsible way?

"JH: The best and most responsible way would be just to repeal it immediately. And that’s all you have to do. You just enact a law that repeals the laws that set up Social Security. I mean, the government… the program came into existence through Congress. Well, Congress can easily just put the program out of business by repealing it, and that’s exactly what should be done.

"Now that scares people. Freedom scares people. I mean, now we’re talking about a free society. Now we’re talking about a society where people are free to keep their own money, and they decide what to do with it. Well, if you believe in freedom works, and I do believe freedom works, there’s nothing to worry about. I mean, I know people worried about that, 'oh my gosh, seniors will die in the street, they won’t have any more money'.

"Well, some seniors don’t need the money. They’re very wealthy [or] they’re very middle class. And the Social Security payment is like an extra little bonus for them to, to play poker with or whatever. So there’s a large sector of the society doesn’t need the money. Some seniors might have to go back to work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I see seniors working all the time. And they’re in the mainstream of life. They’re interacting with other people and young people. I think it’s a better alternative than just sitting in your living room waiting to die.

"But there are some people that truly need help. But if you believe that freedom works, you have no doubt. And I have no doubt that if it were repealed today, that young people would come step forward to the plate. Now they’re keeping all their money now. No more FICA tax, no more money as needed to pay all the salaries of Social Security bureaucrats. They were talking about salaries, ranging 50,000, 200,000 a year, that’s just wasted money. Young people will be able to keep all that money, and then step up to the plate and help their parents and grandparents.

"I have no doubt that you can do that, that they would do that. Or in those cases where they say, 'I’m not going to help my parents or grandparents'… you’ve got church groups. You’ve got community groups, all on a voluntary basis. And this is what I’m saying that we need to recapture in this country, a belief in ourselves. A faith in others. A faith in the free market. For me, have faith in God rather than the faith of government.

"And then all of a sudden you’re talking about how a free society works, how a free people work. But Social Security is really an insult to the younger people in the society. It’s saying that 'you are a bad people. You can’t be trusted with freedom. And we need to force you to take care of seniors by taking your money and given it to them'. Well, I say nonsense to that. I think young people should rebel against the system. I think they should join up with us libertarians and say, 'we can handle this. We can handle freedom. We can take responsibility for parents, grandparents, other people in the community, who need help. And we don’t need to be forced by anyone to do this'."

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