Is taking government money immoral?

Mike Devx said something in a recent comment that really hit home.

The dominant memes in a society or civilization are what controls the behavior of most of the people in that society.

I think that this is true…we won’t really change our society unless we change attitudes. So, I would like to recommend a change as follows:

Start teaching our contemporaries and (especially) our children that accepting money from the government is immoral unless it is paid back.

Why? Because it’s not the government’s money to give. When you take money from the “government”, you are expropriating someone else’s labor without their consent. When I hear people talk about government money, I try to correct them by interjecting with “other taxpayer’s money”.

Why do we need this? Because too many of us (all of us?) have divorced the connection between what the government ‘gives’ and what the government takes away from us.

It’s not just the poor that I am talking about: I am still kicking myself for not having taken a picture of a recent “Obama Stimulus” road resurfacing project sign that I saw while driving through one of Chicagoland’s wealthiest villages on a private village (not county, state or federal) road. Why was some middle class shlub in Iowa or Ohio having to foot the bill for this? Let the village pay for it. Similarly, with regard to NJ Gov. Christie’s shut-down of the NJ-NYC tunnel project: find a way to make the users pay for it through private financing. I worked for years with otherwise-conservative farmers and farmer cooperatives that based their economic decisions not on what they could produce to sell into a free market but rather what the government would buy from them or provide for “free”. I actually sat in boardrooms as decisions were made to build new manufacturing plants to produce commodities that had no market value but which the government had promised to purchase and store. To them, it was just “government money”. Look around us – until the Tea Party movement, the electorate largely applauded government largesse to actors’ guilds, local library projects, artists project, failed schools programs (remember midnight basketball?) and all kinds of other taxpayer gifts to under-employed rent seekers that otherwise lack the integrity to justify themselves in a free marketplace.

Can we,  should we, and how would we work to instill the value meme that “taking government money is immoral” in our young? How would such a value meme affect how we define or deal with the social welfare obligations that are bankrupting (or, as I maintain, “have bankrupted”) our government, such as social security and ObamaCare?

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  • stanley

    Absolutely Danny,
    All “government” money is money appropriated (stolen) from a citizen. It is that simple. This is “redistribution” in its most basic sense. Redistribution is a convoluted version of stealing from one to “give” (in exchange for favors) to another. The whole idea of “government money” is a basic flaw in our daily thinking. It is not the government’s money, it is money earned by each citizen. The big problem is that we are a money society. We are all feeding in some way at the government trough and therefore have a stake in allowing robbing hood to continue this redistribution practice.
    I think that this is symptomatic of a greater fraud foisted on American citizens that I have not seen mentioned here. It is a fraud in that it is an ideology that is counter to the American way of life and counter to the constitution and bill of rights while cloaked in the guise of “for the good of the community”. This ideology is communitarianism. This ideology, characterized by our leader whose main qualification for office was as a “community organizer” has permeated our society to such an extent that we have accepted it without question, except by a few people. Communitarianism is a subject that needs to be examined and discussed in full transparency by citizens. I was only made aware of communitarianism a few weeks ago and have been studying it from the website and blog of the Anti-Communitarian League and Living Outside the Dialectic (http://www.nikiraapana.blogspot.com/). Give it a look and see if this ideology does not describe the actions and motivations of so much of government, domestic and internationally today. It is the needs of the “community” that gives permission to ride roughshod over the RIGHTS of the individual as guaranteed by the US constitution.

  • Tonestaple

    It sounds really good, and I pretty much agree with it, but how are you going to explain that to kids while they’re busy getting a taxpayer-provided education? 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    A top down system of reform would be to make government taxes completely transparent. As in, electronically monitor and tag each dollar that comes from a taxpayer and check where it goes, using electronic footnotes and security certificates. PUt that computer power to good use for once. If the public is given access to such, like UPS tracking, then they will know immediately just where their money went.
     
    This would make it much more difficult to simply fund a pork barrel project, because it becomes much harder to hide where the money came from. So long as money falls from heaven like mana, they ain’t going to be particularly caring that some invisible ox is being gored. So long as it isn’t them, they are okay. But if they check on the internet and find out that it is them, then they get what is called “motivation”.
     
    motivation is a requirement if you wish to fight government tyranny.
     
    Of course, both bottom up solutions and top down solutions are good, if they are actually implemented in reality. Right now, it looks like a bottom up distributed solution (like the Amber alerts) is going to be required before you get any “top down” reconfiguration.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Preferably, it needs to be like gas prices. Every time somebody wakes up and goes to work, they need to KNOW, exactly, and how much of their taxes are going to government programs.
     
    People complain incessantly about gas prices not because it’s that much compared to other expenses but because they see it every day. You got to hit these people with their psychological defenses of heads stuck in the sand with some shock to get them thinking. Nobody is immune to advertisement or propaganda. They just think they are.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Tonestaple, good point!
     
    How about if, like student loans, the kids are expected to pay back whatever the government “gives” them for their education? Student loans have to be repaid. I have a child in the military that gets government-supported education. However, this is earned as part of their service to their country. True, universities are subsidized by government because they are perceived to provide a net social benefit. However, people still have to pay money to attend and earn a degree. If students are poor, it’s fine to have the government help pay for college. However, make them pay the government back! No more free money.
     
    I have no problem with people earning government services…for example, with scholarships based on performance and merit. I do have a big problem with students or (especially) professors applying for government grants with no payback strings attached.
     
    Stanley, thanks for the link. Maybe this is how we fight back.
     

  • SADIE

    The issue is not so much instilling the value meme with the young – although in and of itself a fine idea. Of course, we want everyone to understand the value of a dollar to labor ratio. We’re not exactly getting a bang for our buck and we can’t fix the financial bankruptcy until the moral bankruptcy is addressed.

    More to the point, it’s about reminding the ‘guardians’ of the pot that it is not theirs to do with as they please… on a whim or to benefit cronies, pet projects, pork projects, self aggrandizement projects and road warrior projects (those awful recovery signs).
     
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Belief is the ultimate WMD. If you can get everybody to believe that X needs to die and Y needs to be resurrected, then X will die and Y will be resurrected.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    What do you tell taxpayers, especially seniors who have dutifully paid their taxes all their life, who believe they should be able to get back out some of what they put in?

  • stanley

    DQ,
    I am a senior, to be 65 in10 months. I am not planning on getting SS, though I would like to like anybody else, which is normal. I would say though, that I was fooled by the biggest ponzi scheme in history. What else can you say? If it isn’t there it isn’t there, and we should look for the perpetrators of this ponzi scheme and punish them and learn from this expensive lesson for future generations. Many people have gotten far more than what they paid in. This has become even more apparent with public pension funds. Common sense would tell a reasonable person that such a system is unsustainable. Please allow me to refer you to this post: http://www.gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2010/10/coming-middle-class-anarchy.html

  • gpc31

    Danny,

    An absolutely great insight — thanks for posting it.

    A few additional comments:

    1) The best book on this subject is Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson.”  Read it last year.  200 pages of beautiful clarity!  Why it took me decades to “discover” this gem hidden in plain sight can only be described as a glaring testament to my own willful ignorance.

    2) At some fundamental level, the link between taxation and representation has broken down.

    3) Check out this link at http://www.zerohedge.com/article/gonzalo-lira-coming-middle-class-anarchy
    It describes the inverse of the situation that you described, namely, when the productive middle class refuses to be played for a chump any longer and decides to stop playing by the rules and paying its taxes (or mortgages).

  • Danny Lemieux

    DQ, I agree: people should get back out what they put into these programs plus interest, no more no less. Social security and Medi Obamacare were supposed to act as insurance plans. These ideas got corrupted into Ponzi schemes when politicians found out they could win votes by voting for more benefits and recipients found they could get “free” money by voting for these politicians… just as Stanley says. The money isn’t there.
     
    We could argue that what people have put into these programs isn’t nearly enough to meet their needs, given the abysmally low (negative?) returns on investment generated by the government on these programs. In fact, these payments were never put into a “lockbox” and invested, the way an insurance company would have done, but rather looted and replaced with worthless paper IOUs. This is a prime example of the disconnect that has happened between perceptions of government money and the labor of taxpayers.
     
    I am not arguing for a complete cut-off of these programs: I know that this can’t happen. But maybe we can start affecting change by pointing out just how immoral they are. I propose that we need to start citizens thinking that accepting government monies (or the promises thereof) are an inherently bad thing.

  • SADIE

    stanley and gpc31
     
    I see the two of you are reading off the same page (literally). Excellent link and I thank you both.
     
     
    Danny, picking up on your comment…


    I propose that we need to start citizens thinking that accepting government monies (or the promises thereof) are an inherently bad thing.
     
    I propose that the promises be taken with a grain of salt. I’d would, just once, like to send the IRS an IOU-nothing note.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Do seniors also expect the government to refund part of all the taxes the seniors have paid for 4 plus decades? SS is a tax. People have erroneous expectations because they believed the government lies.

  • Spartacus

    Yikes.  This is one of those posts that induces my mind to feel like a nuclear reactor… each thought bouncing around knocks loose more than 1.000 other thoughts, which then bounce around, and… at some point, you just have to drop in the cerium rods and start typing.
     
    1) Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Devx are spot-on, as usual.  Certainly, we should try to instill all proper virtues in the younguns, regardless of the extent to which we succeed.
    2) Partial counterpoint, though: Like most people in modern times, I am not in the farming business, and thus am not forced into choices influenced by USG price supports.  Furthermore, given the freedom to choose, I would avoid jobs forcing me to choose between loyalty to maximizing my employer’s profit and being a good and virtuous economic citizen.  But someone has to make these decisions, and inevitably someone will, and market forces will force them either to make the “pragmatic” decision or else become philanthropists for economic purity, for as long as they can afford to do so.  It is the system that corrupts, and the system which must be reformed.
    3) Tonestaple — Hopefully, when they graduate and realize that their economic future has been [thrown] away by fiscal incontinence, they will figure this out for themselves.  Some will and some won’t, but those who do will be of greater value in any fight, and they will be on our side.
    4) Ymarsakar — Jonah Goldberg had a bit to say about this recently: Can I Have A Receipt with That?
    5) YES, tax rates should be higher for those who opt for government benefits, although I would (as always) question where in the Constitution such things as student loans were ever made a federal matter, or what could possibly be the logic behind doing so.

    Two more points coming separately, as each is a bit on the large side.

  • Spartacus

    Sr. Quixote asks, “What do you tell taxpayers, especially seniors who have dutifully paid their taxes all their life, who believe they should be able to get back out some of what they put in?”  May I go on a slight tangent?  Excellent question with no easy answers (which would make it a typical Sr. Quixote question!) but we might take this opportunity to break the barrage of government checks down into more categories:
    - Current Government Employees. Currently showing up for work each weekday morning, in most cases.
    - Government Retirees. People who devoted numerous years to government service at least partially because of a contractual obligation made to fund their retirement, or at least a very reasonable belief therein.  The specific level of payment may or may not have been specified in writing, and the extent to which these folks truly need this extra money varies significantly, and it is not means-tested.
    - Contractual Benefit Recipients. GI Bill recipients, for example, who were very specifically promised specific dollar amounts for a specific purpose in return for services rendered.
    - Recipients of Loans and Loan Guarantees. College students, soldiers buying their first house, small business owners, small business owners with the right skin color, George-Soros-owned oil companies drilling off the coast of Brazil.  Some contractual, some political.
    - Social Security Recipients. All paid in different amounts, and will collect different amounts.  Realistically, none made a decision to work in any particular job or not based on the promise of retirement benefits.  The extent to which these folks truly need this extra money varies significantly, and it is not means-tested.
    - Dole Recipients. Recipients of “need”-based payments to allieve real or perceived economic hardship.  Not based on services rendered.  Means-tested, although how carefully this is done is a matter of debate.
    - Voter Benefit Recipients. Everything from SSI payments for the blind to “stimulus” checks for all taxpayers to slavery reparations (if they are ever politically dumb enough to try that).  Some are arguably somewhat need-based, but all are politics-based.  Minimally means-tested at best, and not based on any work performed or contract signed.
     
    I confess to certain biases, but have (somewhat) attempted to refrain from too much commentary in order simply to help give a bit of structure to the discussion, which is necessarily going to be complex.

  • Spartacus

    What is necessary is to change the way the game is played, and one thought comes to mind on how to do that.  Enough of this “You vote for my pork, and I’ll vote for yours” business.  Enough of omnibus spending bills and continuing resolutions and life or death by subcommittee.  All of these things give each individual member of Congress cover to say, “I had to vote to fund some bad stuff in order to vote to fund all of the good stuff,” or, more generally, “It’s beyond my control.”
     
    Let’s have a constitutional amendment whereby each member of the House and Senate is given, say, ten opportunities per year to call for a separate vote on any single line item, collection of line items, or general category of the budget.  It should be crafted such that it could not be abused for purely dilatory purposes, but still given a high degree of procedural precedence, so that it could not be long ignored.  No longer could any member of Congress plausibly claim opposition to all sorts of silly spending unless they had put all of that silly spending to an up-or-down vote.  No longer could they hide behind the excuse that some committee or subcommittee on which they don’t even serve has jurisdiction over that, and it was a committee vote.
     
    It would be almost as popular among members of Congress as an amendment for term limits, so it would likely need to be done through state conventions, or the threat of a general constitutional convention.  But times are getting interesting enough that these just might become possible.
     
    While we’re at it, we might just throw in a 3/5 requirement for all appropriations bills.  ;)

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    There should be two kinds of votes. Vote by population representation and vote by wealth share representation, like corporate shares.
     
    The balance between small and big states was to have two electoral systems to represent both. The same is true here and today when the rich exploit the poor and the poor are bought as slaves by the influential. One is more numerous than the other, thus have numbers, but the other has less numbers but more money. Slanting the scales toward either produces imbalance and social discontent. Especially since ultra rich billionaires like Soros can buy up the poor vote the way Southerners used to buy up African slaves.
     
    At the cost of disenfranchising the moderately rich, one might end up empowering the enslaved poor, culminating in the actuality of boosting mega rich individuals and (evil) organizations. Balance of powers preclude such ends.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Spartacus….lots more people to add to your list of government beneficiaries:
    –executives of not-quite-private-not-quite-public entities like Fannie Mae. These people get paid a *lot* more than even the most senior civil servants and political appointees
    –“nonprofit” executives…supported by government grants in some cases; almost always benefit from tax exemption, including absence of taxes on their (often very fancy) real estate
    –lobbyists…as government becomes more and more intrusive in all aspects of life, businesses are forced to pay increasing amounts of “protection money” to these people, who are often former CongressCreatures
     
    See my post Paying higher taxes can be very profitable:
    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/11069.html#more-11069

  • stanley

    DL,
    “Is taking government money immoral” is stimulating lots of discussion. Why put the burden on the citizens by imposing the morality question on us? Why not “is the government taking money from the citizens immoral? Does passing laws and imposing the IRS tax code on us make redistribution of income “moral”? Is not redistribution of income justified by politicians and their promoters a form of “social justice”?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Stanley, good questions but (I hope) different questions. Must government change before we can change our own value system or must we change our value systems before we can hope to change our government. I hope that we as a nation still have the ability to force the will of the people on the government. However, as long as people think that it is OK to shake-down their fellow citizens by demanding more danegeld in services from their government, things won’t get fixed.
     
    The comments thus far are excellent and thought-provoking. I would hate to think that our future is to be like Greece and Italy, where the parasitic classes do all they can to extract wealth from the “system” (i.e., other taxpayers) while the productive classes do all they can to avoid paying into the system (like Brian and Ilsa in your gonzolalira link). At that point, our system will be completely broken.

  • stanley

    With 50% paying in and 50% taking out we are on the cusp. With the baby boomer generation (I am one, class of 1946) looming the scales will tip the wrong way, whether we want to or not, like it or not. The example of Brian and Ilso is very illustrative in that it must take some great stress to change the way of thinking of the late great American middle-class. This is another tipping point going in the wrong direction. We are not done going through the changes, and in fact are just beginning. The redeeming hope is that since America has a history and culture of individual freedom that this will give us a reference point to staying America and not become like the rest of the world, of being communitarian. OF course, many in positions of leadership would rather recent immigrants retain their own “cultural heritage” rather than assume American values so even that base is diminishing. We have a constitution and bill of rights that have served us well, and if we adhere to these documents will continue to do so. There are many who do not want to follow the law of the land and this is the problem- especially when they are in government. Following the law would take the nebulous “moral values” out of the equation.

  • Spartacus

    Excellent points, Mr. Foster, and sadly, I suspect we are still missing a few categories, lost in the torrent of money.
     
    BTW, when are Steve Martin and Gilda Radner going to get burbs in Maryland named after them?  Maybe I just don’t get Maryland…

  • suek

    >>Why not “is the government taking money from the citizens immoral?>>
     
    If you knowingly accept stolen goods, is it immoral?  We all know it’s illegal – but legality and morality are two different things.  It is also immoral to steal – so is receiving stolen goods immoral (assume knowledge)?
     
    If so…is it moral for the government to tax?  at what point is it _not_ moral?  Obviously, this becomes a moral question, because since it’s the government, it _will_ be legal.  I think we’re getting to the Robin Hood situation here.  It’s always written as “He stole from the rich and gave to the poor” but not so often is it clarified that the rich were rich because they had collected extraordinary taxes from the poor in the first place.  Hence the bad guy was Prince John, who was collecting the excessive taxes while Richard was pursuing the Crusades.  The taxes were supposed to support the King at war (hmmmm…) but instead, were going into the pockets of the corrupt officials.
     
    Gosh…that sounds familiar…

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    That’s because government can ally with illegal immigrants if they retain such a culture in the midst of America. Government cannot ally with such if those immigrants become fully integrated into the legal traditions of America, with their own place in the hierarchy, guaranteed and protected by law. That would make them Americans in cultural denomination. And the government’s worst enemy is not foreign, but domestic Americans.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “Why not “is the government taking money from the citizens immoral?”
     
    Because ethical agents are individuals with free will. They are not a collective, like the government, that you can simply shift blame around in.
    This goes against the whole grain of government by the people, for the people.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “DQ, I agree: people should get back out what they put into these programs plus interest, no more no less.”
     
    The easiest way to accomplish this and the most just is to remit their taxes for X number of years. The same as they paid into the program.
     
    But that won’t work unless you can get government to stop funding their get rich quick schemes.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    So, my husband and I bought a house within the time period allowed for first-time home buyers to receive the refund of up to 10% of the first $80,000 of the purchase without having to pay it back. Since my husband is a tax accountant, we’ve had our ammended return ready for a while, but it has been sitting, unsigned, on the counter for as long. I guess our questioning it is a sign enough that we already know what the right thing to do is.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    On the topic of calculating a receipt for people’s taxes, it is not specific and only of marginal long term use. People don’t really know where the money is going in the labyrinth of Washington. They just get a percentage of their pay in. This is the percentage by GDP. It’s an advertisement gimick to say that this is now somebody’s tax receipt. It is not their individual tax tracker, but the nation’s tax tracker by GDP percentage.
     
    Calculations and binding theoretical equations into an advertisement gimmick is not the same as lasting reform of the system itself. It will not actually empower an army of davids to track and stall money. It is, to an extent that all advertisements are, simply going to inform people of something they may not have known.
     
    Another detriment is that calculations need to be changed and updated, same as equations. Both are susceptible to manipulation and corruption from bias. A physical and electronic system that tracks actual real or virtual objects would have a harder time being spoofed or suffering from one eyed man in the land of the blind bind.
     
    The Left can always argue that a calculated tax receipt for the people is biased and manufactured by right wing propaganda news Fox. The Left can even make use of the tax receipt and juggle the numbers around to make military spending somehow appear at the top. You know they will try. They have never failed because they gave up, after all. That wasn’t why socialism failed.
     
    With a physical and real system that tracks real things in real time, it becomes much harder to lie about the reality of spending. It’s also a neat way to find hidden programs and otherwise allow individuals to divert tax money, since they now know where it is going, to their specific programs.
     
    A system I like to implement is that people should pay a flat tax, but even if it is a progressive tax bracket people should be able to choose which public service they will pay into. A broad 3 options would be welfare, military defense, and infrastructure. If a person pays 10k in taxes but hates funding wars, then they can tell Congress to funnel their individual taxes only to X and Y. With electronic tracking generating transparency, this can be done, and it may not even require supercomputers to do it.
     
    So long as we are speaking only of advertising the costs to the taxpayer and the percentage of what the US’s GDP is going in, we are on the ground called propaganda. And on that battlefield, the winner is always decided by the one with best skill in propaganda. That is not usually the Republican party nor conservative movements.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    To defeat the Left, we can either beat them at their game, which is doable and often times necessary, but we must also surpass the Left in terms of transparency and liberty. We can hold our own fighting the Left at what they are good at, but to utterly defeat them, like all tyrannies, we need to make best use of our advantages. Which are the counterpart to the Left’s advantages. They are good at lying, deceiving, and destroying. We are good at adhering to the truth, facilitating communication amongst various factions, and creating what had not existed before. The Left is good at coverups and witch hunts. We must counter that by being good at shining the light of creation upon the land of man, to create transparency in the utter darkness emitted by the malignant Leftist beast and machine.
     
    I have come to believe this after many years observing what has worked and what has not worked against Leftist revolutionary and mass murder death cults.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymar – “On the topic of calculating a receipt for people’s taxes, it is not specific and only of marginal long term use. People don’t really know where the money is going in the labyrinth of Washington. They just get a percentage of their pay in.”
     
    You make a very good point, Ymar. Most people have no idea of where that money goes and where it comes out. Our local (unpaid position) mayor, a small business man, did something very smart when he got elected: every year, our village mails every resident an annual report, showing income and outlays for the village. Funny…he keeps getting reelected.
     
    I think that this could be applied on a national scale and we would have a revolution in peoples’ thinking. Suppose every person that paid taxes received a form that not only broke out income (from different sources) versus outlays but also a break-out of who paid taxes (individuals, corporations, etc.), broken out by income and age, as well as outlays, broken out by state. I also agree with Ymar that a very fundamental problem in this country is lack of transparency, which makes it so much easier for the Left to lie.
     
    Shirleyelizabeth, I am impressed! I suspect that part of your hesitation is realizing that once you accept government other peoples’ money, your moral high ground on which to oppose government spending becomes seriously eroded. Not only that, but your government the ruling class will then have a legitimate claim on your house and what you do with it.
     
     
     

  • suek

    >>Not only that, but your government the ruling class will then have a legitimate claim on your house and what you do with it.>>
     
    They’ve got that regardless.
     
    I guess I’m inclined to think that taking money from the government is perfectly moral as long as you are/have been a taxpayer.  First, you’re probably still on the plus side if you figure out what you’ve already paid in.  Second, let’s fact it – if you don’t take the money, the government will just spend it on some stupid earmark someone thinks up.  I know – that’s a weak argument, but if at the same time you’re voting to reduce the taxes, voting to reduce the hand-outs, I think it’s legitimate.  Now if you’ve spent years drawing money from the government, and somehow managed never to pay into the system – _then_ I think there’s a definite question about whether you’re “earning your keep”.
     
    I also think Congress is in session way too long.  There are way too many issues that they get into but really don’t need to – but they’re there, and think it’s part of their job to not just sit there … DO SOMETHING!!  The fact is, we’d probably be better off if they sat on their hands and did nothing – unless the need actually arose.  They’re just looking for trouble so they can justify their way of life.  I’d cut their pay in half, pay no retirement, and ask them to serve in DC about a week per month unless there were special circumstances.  The rest of the time they can stay home, meet with their constituents and communicate by computer or telephone.

  • suek
  • suek

    Hmm.  Don’t know why that didn’t paste as a live link…but try this:
    New Lame Duck Threat to Bailout Union Pensions – HUMAN EVENTS
     
    Then check out this:  (You may not want to read the whole article, but there’s an interactive table that shows the pension liabilities for different states – you might want to check out your own.  The fact is that the states are contractually obliged to make up for pensions in the hole – that means that they will collect taxes from you in order to pay for the pensions of unions that unions haven’t collected enough for, or which have lost money because of unwise investments)
     
    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/04/interactive-map-of-public-pension-plans.html

  • SADIE

    suek, we’re reading the same message today – UNDER funded/OVER estimated public pensions. I would hope that any more talk of seizing 401k’s would send the electorate into the hallways of Congress with pitch forks.

    Big US cities could be squeezed by unfunded public pensions as they and counties face a $574 billion funding gap, a study to be released on Tuesday shows.

    Current pension assets for plans sponsored by Philadelphia can only pay for promised benefits through 2015, while Boston and Chicago would deplete their existing funds by 2019.

    This rest here and it’s a short article.
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39626759

  • suek

    Ok…now add this to the mix.  We have a stinking mess about to land on us.  Get what you can get because there isn’t going to be any left, and survival is primary.
     
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=168923

  • suek

    For those who want some specifics on how the money is spent…
     
    http://content.thirdway.org/publications/335/Third_Way_Idea_Brief_-_A_Taxpayer_Receipt.pdf

  • jj

    You answered the question in its formulation: yes, the government has no money of its own, taking money from it is therefore nothing more than theft wearing make-up, consequently is immoral.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “Not only that, but your government the ruling class will then have a legitimate claim on your house and what you do with it.

     
    Which was always the definition of a slave/serf, not a freehold.

  • Grant_T

    This is ludicrous. We live in a system that makes it impossible NOT to take money from the government, either directly or indirectly. Don’t mail stamps, don’t eat beef (taxpayer supported corn and land subsidies), drive on the road (paid for through taxes), don’t go to public libraries, on and on and on. Impossible.