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    Centralized Planning – American Style

    07/09/2011

    PERSONAL FREEDOM AND POWER 102:  Acquiring and Possessing Property

    That all Men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural Rights,…; among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursuing and obtaining Happiness and Safety.

     Virginia Declaration of Rights – 1776

     

    Indispensable for personal freedom is the liberty for each person to choose how to allocate and invest their time, labor and money, and to own the gains made by these investments.

    George Mason codified the elements of freedom in the Virginia ,Declaration of Rights by stating “certain inherent rights, namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” 

    Centralized Planning – American Style

    Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the State Planning Committee created five-year plans.  Today in America, our political elites have twenty days to approve a “central plan” which will last until the next crisis. 

    Forced by America’s gigantic debt and needing a debt-ceiling expansion, Obama, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, and Pelosi have gathered to impose taxes and restructure government programs. These decisions will affect every American.

    As part of a "Grand Bargain," President Obama is proposing to change the Social Security tax, which is a 15.3% tax and transfer scheme.  Today, American workers are taxed and retirees receive benefits.  Social Security, however, is bankrupt and will rapidly worsen with the retirement of the baby-boomer generation. 

    Desperately needing to reduce spending on Social Security, Obama has proposed changing the formula of the consumer price index, which will reduce the benefits for seniors and will increase workers’ and future workers’ tax rates. Spending would be reduced by $112 billion over 10 years and taxes increased by $60 billion.  For an analysis see the  article posted on Bloomberg.com.

    From an accounting perspective, changing the consumer price index formula is probably an improvement.  However, the process and philosophical issues are fundamentally vital and momentous to the freedom of every American. These politicians are manipulating our benefits and tax rates.  They are determining how much money we make and receive.  This is a tiny example of abusive and coercive governance.

    Historically, the Social Securities tax and transfer scheme has been fraught with political manipulations.  For example, every two years – election years - in the 1960’s, politicians consistently increased benefits.  Prior to the 1972 election, Nixon approved gigantic benefit increases and included a reminder with the retiree’s benefit check of the increases he bestowed on them.   Social Security was bankrupt within 6 years.

    Directly, this is an issue of personal freedom versus government coercion – tax