Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So what are the 'entitlements'?

An important misdirection on 'entitlements', especially Social Security, is that you are 'paying' into an 'account' that is a lockbox.

Unfortunately, that has never been true.

In Helvering v. Davis (1937) the Supreme Court determined that the 'payments' into SSA were simple taxes. Here is a review of Title VIII that puts SSA into place:

Title VIII, as we have said, lays two different types of tax, an "income tax on employees" and "an excise tax on employers." The income tax on employees is measured by wages paid during the calendar year. ' 801. The excise tax on the employer is to be paid "with respect to having individuals in his employ," and, like the tax on employees, is measured by wages. ' 804. Neither tax is applicable to certain types of employment, such as agricultural labor, domestic service, service for the national or state governments, and service performed by persons who have attained the age of 65 years. ' 811(b). The two taxes are at the same rate. '' 801, 804. For the years 1937 to 1939, inclusive, the rate for each tax is fixed at one percent. Thereafter the rate increases 1/2 of 1 percent every three years, until, after December 31, 1948, the rate for each tax reaches 3 percent. Ibid. In the computation of wages, all remuneration is to be included except so much as is in excess of $3,000 during the calendar year affected. ' 811(a). The income tax on employees is to be collected by the employer, who is to deduct the amount from the wages "as and when paid." ' 80a(a). He is indemnified against claims and demands of any person by reason of such payment. Ibid. The proceeds of both taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes generally, and are not earmarked in any way. ' 807(a). There are penalties for nonpayment. ' 807(c).

There is the nub of it: what you pay are simple taxes that are not earmarked in any way.  You do NOT pay money into a 'lockbox' and Congress stopped the procedure of having SSA funds go to SSA and, instead, they go into the general funds with Treasury notes going to SSA with promises of repayment of those notes.  Basically the 'trust fund' set up in the 1930's was abolished by a later Congress.

Congresses get to do that, you know?

But you still had an 'account', right?

Unfortunately, that has never been the case.

In Flemming v. Nestor (1960), the Supreme Court ruled against any contractual obligation put forward by the US government in SSA.  Nestor challenged that he had a 'right' to SSA because it was 'owed' to him by the US government which had pulled his benefits due to him being a Communist Party member.

The SCOTUS ruled that the 'account' was not property and was not covered by Constitutional protections.  Indeed it is a payment made by the will of Congress.

So those slips of paper you get when you pay into SSA saying how much you 'have' in an 'account'?


You pay taxes and you get promises of future support.  No promise made by the US government is binding in any way, shape or form.  WE BIND government via the Constitution, and within those limits the power we grant is Sovereign in nature.

And that 1960 case brings up one very important point.

Lets say that you were an ideologue who had gotten to the Presidency and needed a useful tool to punish those that weren't supporting you in a re-election campaign.  Key or 'swing' districts might see threats of having the individuals getting SSA have their payments reduced or even their 'accounts' severed completely.  If they didn't vote the 'right way'.  Perhaps start with missing payments due to 'timing difficulties' and then, if that didn't convince recipients to 'change their mind' then start cutting them off from those payments on a more frequent basis.

Now here is the important thing to keep in mind:  ANY President of EITHER party could do this.

SSA, then, would be used as a tool against the people of the United States if they did not agree with the politics of their 'betters' in government.

Legally, too.

Be a shame to have those 'entitlements' cut off, wouldn't it?

And the thing is that the government holds this capability on ANY contract it signs up to.  It is called 'Termination for the Convenience of the Government' or T4C in contracting parlance.  Now for all of those out there who railed and impugned Halliburton and other companies do remember that ANY President can stop contracts with those companies and that if they have no real competitors then the US would be without those functions provided by that company.  Which is why, for all of the Left railing against 'cronyism' for Halliburton, President Obama has done nothing about their contracts: their services are unique and necessary to critical missions.

And that is for the military.  Of course such a move to remove vital services might get a President thrown out of office via impeachment or the ballot box.

Unless he did it late in a political campaign so as to politicize the topic and rouse his 'base'.

Or punish the 'base' of the 'other side' via threats and intimidation.

Not just with SSA, Medicare/Medicaid but with ANY contract held with the US government in ANY district for ANY reason or NONE AT ALL.

Remember when Thomas Paine called government a 'necessary evil' way back in Common Sense?  That is for when government just does the few things it MUST do.  When it starts to hand out goodies, then the Evil becomes Pure.

Which is why anyone, with any mental capacity to understand that 1 + 1 = 2, and not 3 for large values of 1, understands why you want a highly limited, restricted government starved of any treats and kept on a damn short leash.  This beast has grown so that it is now demanding not just its food, but ours as well, and is near to threatening to bite off the hand that feeds it.  I would suggest looking for a large stick and saying 'good doggie' until it can be beaten back to its proper place.

Your liberty and freedom depend on it.

So does your life, if you do the math.

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