Quote of the day—Sandro Rettinger

I’ve decided I really am a heartless bastard about it, though. Screw the old people. Kill Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid entirely. “But we made a promise! We have to honor that!” people will screech. Fuck that noise. Old people made an agreement with the politicians of their day to pay in 5 cents on the dollar on the premise that I’d make up the difference now that they’re at an age where they’d like to retire. They’re welcome to find those politicians and demand their retirement of them. It’s not my problem. They counted on the promises of government when they could have fought to disband the whole fraud before it was catastrophic.

Sandro Rettinger
March 24, 2011
Comment to Our Economic Titanic,
[I’m inclined to at least partially agree with Sandro. There isn’t much else that can be done at this point.

But most of the politicians responsible are dead and there isn’t much money you can squeeze out of a dead politician. I suppose we could put a crater where their grave is and dump sewage into the hole. But as Heinlein pointed out such activities provide “only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about”.—Joe]

18 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Sandro Rettinger

  1. I dunno… I can’t be unique. I fall right in the middle of the Boomer curve, and I’ve never expected that Social Security would be there for me. I figure it was just another way the government ripped me off and if I wanted to retire, (Jury’s still out on that; retirement looks like a death sentence to me.) I’d have to make my own arrangements. I wouldn’t miss a stitch if they announced tomorrow that Social Security was being discontinued. It’d be nice if I could get back out what I paid in, but I’m not counting on it. There’s gotta be a LOT out there like me.

    M

  2. Gen X here… not counting on SS either. Retirement… I just remind myself that people who love what they do don’t retire. I’m getting there.

  3. I never thought Social Security would be around by the time I retired either; the older I get the more obvious that fact becomes. Sure it would be great if I could get back what I put in it’s just not going to happen. It would also be great if they would just stop it all right now, but as the baby boomers start retiring, I doubt they will start voting for legislators willing to do the right thing ands end it. As a compromise, I would still be willing to continue paying into the system for the rest of my working life (30+ years) at current rates knowing that I will never see a dime of that money if it would mean that the Ponzi scheme would end with my generation and my children would never have to pay in.

  4. I’m from late ’64, right on the cusp between the boomers and GenX – I’ve never felt I fit in very well with either of them. I’ve been expecting SS to be there when I retire, and send me a check each month that just about enough to cover my expenses till the end of the week, unless it’s being means-tested (meaning the more you do what all financial planners tell you to do – save and invest, live within your means – , the worse the ROI your SS withholding will be), in which case I’ll hopefully get nothing (because I’ve saved and invested properly, or at least well enough).

  5. End the whole thing ASAP on the principle that personal planning and charity, though important, are absolutely none of government’s business. It’s out of their proper bounds, and meddling in such things is a violation of public trust. Forget all the fluff and the “I would like this” and “I expect that” and demand and end to this outrage.

  6. Lyle,

    I absolutely agree with you. But how does one freedom loving person (or even a few million) make a difference when there are tens of millions of sheeple demanding to keep SS and all the other unconstitutional programs going to “get what’s owed them”? It really seems like it will all have to crumble for it to really end. And then like has been mentioned before, it will get really ugly as the gov’t struggles to maintain it’s existence. Unfortunately when things get tough the sheeple will probably be clamoring for a dictator like many did in the 30’s; the national character has slipped considerably since that time.

  7. Politically speaking, there’s no practical way to simply terminate the whole mess. My prediction is that the federal government will take the easy way out of the “obligations” that the current Ponzi scheme demands. They’ll simply allow the currency to inflate, while simultaneously denying that any such thing is happening. They’ll be able to curtail the COLA’s based on their assessment of whatever inflation rate they claim is occurring (as opposed to the harsh reality of what’s actually going on).

    Instead of having the economy grow its way out of the problem, they’ll have inflation “grow” its way out of the problem. As a late-boomer (’58) I expect that I’ll see a Soc-Sec check for thousands of dollars every month. That’ll be just enough to buy a couple of cans of tuna.

    Unless all of the messes the Demo-Publican party has created are reined-in (Obama-care, Medicare, Soc-Sec, etc. ad nauseum), we can expect an inflation rate that’ll make the Carter-era look like a paragon of fiscal restraint.

  8. The one piece of advice I’ve given to interns and new hires at my company is get into the 401k program as soon as you’re eligible and at least grab the match. Toss in as much as you can. I wish I could have done what I’m doing now 10 years ago at 28. I’d be within 10 years of retirement in my late 40s. The one reality that drives me now is the knowledge that SS is not going to be there in a way that would allow me anything but cat food and cold nights. So I tell the new hires, “Save now. Save as much as you can. You’ll thank me when you’re my age (38)”.

    Now I’m saving 31% of my income. I’ll make it to a reasonably comfortable retirement by my modest standards (have a home, heat, lights, food and utilities paid). It’s hard but compound interest is your friend. We need to teach people this stuff when they’re young. It’s why I’m in favor of privatizing SS. If the option was to invest those funds into an individual trust even via the government, I’d do it in a heartbeat. At least then they’d have a harder time trying to rob it since the money technically is no longer “theirs”.

    Which is why they’ll kick the can down the road and off the side of the cliff. Politicians will never admit what they’ve done. They’ll never tell you they’ve robbed the public trust, figuratively and financially, to pay for that long-past today to buy your vote then rather than keep their paws off.

    It’s going to be an interesting world around 2030. Those of us planning and saving what we can now so we don’t end up in the dark and poor on a government check and a belly full of empty promises are going to be staring at those who didn’t. What will be the arguments above the “haves” and “have nots” then?

  9. Jason,

    Lead by example. Speak the plain truth for the sake of the plain truth. People will catch on. Believe it.

    Others will freak out, panic, and hit the ceiling. That’s what happens when the plain truth is in danger of becoming recognized and accepted. That’s how this works. Control via freak-out. I’ve talked about that before. Ignore the freak-outs and they’ll soil themselves in public.

    What keeps us going along with it is nothing but fear. They’ve got you then.

    Speak the simple truth. Government programs like socialist security are nothing but extortion for extortion’s sake. Control for the sake of control. If we can’t say the words, if we can’t name the enemy, then the rest of you here are correct– how can we oppose it? That’s where the exasperated question comes from; “What are we supposed to do… What can a few million people do…? That sense of exasperation comes from the fear. You know you can’t say these things in polite company, and so you know you can do nothing.

  10. What we are doing when we advocate shitcanning the geezers (I’m one at 67) is nothing less than abandoning the American Ideal, where contracts are made, then upheld. When the American Ideal is gone, what replaces it? The (D)onks would have a Socialist Hell replace it, and the GOP oligarchs would return us to some pre-Independence way of serfdom. There HAS to be an answer in between, and I HAVE that answer.

    To the Governments that have CONTRACTS to provide pension money for me, I say, NEGOTIATE with me: I will take LAND (with all rights attached) in lieu of that money. The Governments have PLENTY of land and/or equipment to farm it that they could give away. The Gen(s) X,Y, etc won’t miss the land being gone, and they won’t need any, they will be too busy working until they die in harness, because retirement isn’t important enough to them to fight for. I gave 45 years of my life to two Governments, primarily for the retirement plans. I now live very comfortably in retirement. Take that if you must, but I WILL be paid, and Joe can tell you how well I can shoot….

  11. As a millennial (I hate the term Gen Y) it isn’t because retirement isn’t important, it’s because I have little to no money left to sock away after paying for food, rent, car insurance, and the taxes that fund your retirement. Also because there will be no Social Security left when my turn comes and because I have some scruples about living off of the backs of future generations. I plan on dying in the saddle or pulling the plug when I run out of money, which is good because it doesn’t look like I’ll have any other options.

  12. Oh, and screw the geezers. Sorry, but I never agreed to pay for you guys and don’t appreciate having to do it now. I’m willing to do the best I can for my parents when the time comes (I would for my grandparents but they’re long gone. 2 never lived to collect, one collected only for 7 years or so, and one for 15-20 years, give or take), and that’s the extent of it. My great-grandfather, bless him, believed SS was wrong right from the get-go and never would sign up for it although he well knew he could have.

  13. Finally, there is no contractual obligation to SS payments. See Flemming v. Nestor (1060).

  14. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. America, and the whole world, is way overdue for a cleansing epidemic. A fast lethal untreatable flu will put Medicare and Social Security back in the black, and a fast-spreading medicine-resistant bacteria will murder the Medicaid rolls.

    The panic about avian flu, swine flu – the source of that is wishful/fearful thinking by government experts, that trickles out to the public relations folks.

    In fact, America will decline to the point where hygiene fails enough people that something (like cholera) sweeps through the cities. Without NYC, the rest of New York state is a conservative bastion. Without its cities, California is far-right.

  15. While I empathize with Rivrdog and everyone else who is counting on social security, I’m afraid I don’t see things exactly the same way. I certainly believe in honoring and upholding contracts. The problems I have with social security are twofold:

    First, who made the contract? Not me. I was born in the murky no man’s land between Gen X and Gen Y. No one in my generation was consulted about it. We were just expected to pay. A contract has considerably less force when one of the parties has no input or choice in the terms of the contract.

    Second, is it even possible to honor this contract? Social security has been neglected by our elected caregivers for so long that it may no longer be possible to honor that commitment, no matter how much we may want to.

    When social security was first implemented, the eligibility age was so close to life expectancy that many people never got to collect. Of those that did, few collected for more than a few years. As life expectancy grew, SS eligibility didn’t follow. The result is that now almost everyone can expect to live long enough to collect SS, and many of them will collect for multiple decades. the logical thing to do would be to raise the eligibility age as life expectancy grew, but that was politically unpopular, so the problem was simply kicked down the road.

    Personally, I think the idea of a social safety net for the elderly is a good and noble thing. The problem is that, like virtually every government entitlement, it was taken to excess, used as a political football, and not updated as conditions changed.

    Personally, I don’t expect SS to be there for me if/when I retire. If it were up to me, the social security elgigiblity age would be pegged around life expectancy and provide enough income to just get by. Everyone would be encouraged to save for their own retirements, with the expectation being that you provided for yourself, retiring when it was financially feasible for you to do so. Social security would be the safety net to use in case you failed to save, your investments crashed, or some other misfortune ruined you financially. I would also consider an option to opt out. Ultimate benefits would be based on the number of years that you paid into the system. Those who opted out every year would have no ability to claim benefits.

  16. Politicians will continue whistling past the graveyard…until the whole SS, Medicare, Medicaid system defaults. Just try telling a 25 year old to pay $100,000 in taxes to get it in the black and we will have a real tax payer revolt. I think we should ELIMINATE the following UN funding, all foreign aid (they hate us anyway), DOE, DOT, BATFE, and about 500 hundred other duplicative or useless departments and most importantly go to a flat tax system. That will knock the wind out of the sails for politicians trying to buy votes with goodies for their voters.

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