April 17, 2015

"But wait a minute... there's nothing inconsistent about being a libertarian and collecting Social Security."

"If you believe the government is wrongfully taking your money (in the form of taxes), naturally you should want to take as much of it back as possible (in the form of benefits). You can still complain that this was inefficient because you would've spent the money better if you had kept it all along; some of your money was siphoned off by government workers; etc. By analogy, if a thief stole your wallet and spent half of the cash that was in it, then offered you the wallet back, you'd take it back, simply to recover most of what you had lost. That wouldn't be an admission that what the thief did was good."

Jaltcoh
, reacting to a "Zing!" by Daily Kos over a tweet that says "Rand Paul is running from Libertarianism faster than Ayn Rand ran to the mailbox for her Social Security checks."

82 comments:

TreeJoe said...

People on the left and right aren't used to thinking in terms of principles and application of principles in a diversity of applications. They are used to thinking about positions on specific issues.

This is why there are so few libertarians. Not because their positions are wrong, but because their positions are often a reflection of applying principles to situations in a way that creates positions that fall across the "standard" political spectrum.

For example: I can be a libertarian, want to avoid wars and regional conflicts, and still believe that one of the core principles of the U.S. federal government is to maintain and project a large military presence - because deterrence has a measurable value.

But I'd be labeled a republican for wanting a large military.

m stone said...

The libertarian box isn't big enough for some people to include rational thinking. This is one case.

Jaltcoh is right.

Quayle said...

The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

mccullough said...

Welfare and food stamps and school lunches would be a better example of hypocrisy. The reason Social Security and Medicare are popular is because, except for the first group of seniors who received them. Everyone has paid into them.

But Rand was an author and royalty checks are t subject to Social Security. And Medicare was passed in 1965, when Rand was 60.

But given the amount she paid in federal income taxes and that the money all comes from the same pot in the end, the point still holds.

Then again, welfare recipients who drink and smoke can claim their just getting their excise taxes back.

jr565 said...

I'll defend Rand here and libertarians here . It's not as if you have a choice to contribute to social security. If he was president he might propose something different. Only, not having the power to change it, it's still his money.
Likewise libertarians might want to go back to the gold standard (maybe I'm putting words in libertarians mouths here).
Until they achieve thst result does that mean they'd have to not use money? The whole argument is ludicrous.

AJ Lynch said...

The only way to reform social security is to consider how should it have been set up in the first place. Then put the proposals in front of a bunch of 20 and 30 somethings and see which reform they would choose. It is dumb to just put bandaids on the current Ponzi scheme by raising retirement age and eliminating benefits for the well off.

If I were setting it up today, I say give me 12% [today rate is about 12.6%]from your pay [capped at let's say $150K annually] and 4% goes into a private account, 4% goes into a group account and the remaining 4% goes into the general fund to pay off the current bogey balance of a bazillion dollars. At age 65, you get an annuity from the group account.

You keep 100% of what is in your individual account no matter when you die. That should especially appeal to balcks whose life expectancy is lower than non-blacks.

Chris N said...

Some people force others to live by programs which will eventually fail by design/poor design, and then try and leverage themselves morally by mocking the outcomes.

I take that as a position of weakness, not strength.

Rusty said...

Daily Kos.
Not exactly known for its insightful arguments.

Terry said...

All the principled atheists at Kos spend money with "In God We Trust" printed on it. Zing!

PB said...

You may not agree a govt program like SS should exist, but if they've forced you into it you should extract as much as you are allowed from it. Libertarians would state there's no role for govt in running a mandatory retirement program.

Additionally, any rational person with simple math skills should know what a mismanaged program it is. As is often said, if a private company ran a fixed benefit program like SS, their executives would go to jail for fraud.

MayBee said...

I do like the box liberals want to put people in- force people to pay taxes whether they agree or not, then say it is unprincipled to actually use what you are paying for.

They do the same thing with GOP lawmakers. "How can you say you want a small government when you are willing to accept a government paycheck?"
or with Ted Cruz lately,

"How can you be against Obamacare and still use the exchanges the law forces you to use and accept subsidies (formerly known as employer-paid portion of insurance premiums?)"

Todd said...

jr565 said...
The whole argument is ludicrous.
4/17/15, 8:38 AM


Well, well - BUSH LIED! And, and - the IRS doesn't have 250,000 "agent", and Rommie hasn't paid taxed in like FOREVER! and Gwyneth can barely feed herself on SNAP, other stuff that sounds good on a bumper sticker but has no relationship to the facts.

Facts are SO 2 years ago and really, at this point, what difference does it make?

rhhardin said...

Social Security is actually an inflation-adjusted insurance policy, insuring you against outliving your savings.

The money you paid in was the premium.

You buy not exactly what you put in but insurance against the risk that you live longer than you can save for.

MikeDC said...

It's a silly argument Kos is making against libertarians, for the reasons Jalcoh says, but a similar argument against progressives is more consistent.

That is, wealthy progressives argue everyone, but especially the wealthy should pay more taxes and without getting any more in return from the government.

Yet, none of these folks voluntarily fork over the money they want the government to compel them to pay.

Laslo Spatula said...

Always pay in Fives and Ones because hookers don't make change.

I am Laslo.

Shouting Thomas said...

Did you ever imagine, professor, when you started out in life that you would become the world's most successful droning, boring, stifling and ridiculous HR bureaucrat?

Your Dylan obsession is ridiculous.

You are everything he hates and strives to avoid.

You are obsessed with petty bureaucratic bullshit. I spent a lifetime avoiding and undermining nightmare bureaucrats like you. The fag hags like you were the worst, too.

Laslo Spatula said...

We are all paying a crisp Twenty for twelve-dollar blow-jobs. That was my point. Pretty much.

I am Laslo.

Tank said...

Similar to the stupid line you get from (mostly) leftists that, if you're a libertarian, don't use the roads. You know, the world is the way it is. You can try, or vote, to change it, but while you are living your life, you have to live within the framework that is there. This is part of Ayn Rand too; A = A; you have to deal with it.

I've paid (a shitload of money) into SS all my life. The whole idea is that it is in a lockbox (OK, HAHAHAHAHHA) there for me to take out now. I'd be an idiot not to take it.

I, like probably most here, am in that group of people who have lived a productive life mostly paying into these gov't programs, while taking back much less than many others.

traditionalguy said...

I see the Socialist's argument point.

The careless myth that people have paid into Social Security is the ancient mass delusion that FDR used to pass a tax. It has always been the government's income, period.

Ergo: all Social Security benefits are mere government welfare programs.

TCR James said...

Hayek stated that a social safety net is warranted because it is the decent thing to do.

Since we know libertarianism is bad and the Daily Kos just refudiated it, that means we need to get rid of social welfare benefits, since they're linked to libertarians.

There, see? Everybody can build a strawman and set it alight, and declare themselves the winner.

Actually taking libertarian thought (or simple classic liberalism) seriously requires a bit more work than that, and I wouldn't expect the juiceboxers to be capable of doing that work.

Laslo Spatula said...

The worst part about Government blow-jobs is that the bureaucrats giving them can't even be bothered to move their tongue a bit. That, and the long lines.

I am Laslo.

Shouting Thomas said...

The monster fag hag in the HR department always allied herself with the hairshirt wearing panty waist white guy who was supposedly doing penance for the sins of white men, but was actually a backstabber and informant.

The real agenda of this backstabber was always to suck on fag hag tit, avoid real work and to divert the Evil Eye to any white guy besides himself.

You and your husband are the bitter enemies of any man who wants to be free. You and your husband are actually devoted to an S&M game designed to humiliate the hetero white men you can't have and cannot compete against.

SGT Ted said...

Jalcoh has it right. Daily Kos folks are douchebags.

The lefty position on libertarians and small government Republicans is a political lie, claiming that they are for ZERO government spending. The leftists then bash them based on that lie.

EDH said...

Hasn't Fuglesang through his snark inadvertently given us a good example of the old adage:

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."

In other words, the compassionate compulsion is all for you own good, unless you disagree with us.

AJ Lynch said...

ST: suggest you get up on the other side of your bed tomorrow cause you are one cranky old asshole today.

CStanley said...

The silly thing is that these hypocrisy arguments actually make sense when applied against leftist a but when they try to reverse them against libertarian/conservatives the logic doesn't support them.

If you think the government should be bigger and should do more, you as an individual have the ability to overpay tour taxes. So when Warren Buffet says that rich guys like him should pay more, it is clear that his convictions aren't strong enough to unilaterally commit to paying more- because it is well within his ability to do it at any time.

Henry said...

I presume that Ayn Rand also paid her New York City drinking water bills. The horror.

MayBee said...

If you think the government should be bigger and should do more, you as an individual have the ability to overpay tour taxes. So when Warren Buffet says that rich guys like him should pay more, it is clear that his convictions aren't strong enough to unilaterally commit to paying more- because it is well within his ability to do it at any time

Exactly, CStanley! The government can force you to participate. You can't force the government not to make you participate. It's unequal.

Rusty said...

Taqnk said;
"I've paid (a shitload of money) into SS all my life. The whole idea is that it is in a lockbox (OK, HAHAHAHAHHA) there for me to take out now. I'd be an idiot not to take it.

I, like probably most here, am in that group of people who have lived a productive life mostly paying into these gov't programs, while taking back much less than many others."

Word.

Anonymous said...

You pay Social Security premium from your paycheck, the Retirement-insurance has an obligation to pay up for as long as you're alive. Uncle Sam decides to be the insurer collecting premiums. Uncle Sam must pay up.

If NYLife refused to pay out annuities, they would be prosecuted.

In the real world, if you pay a higher premium, you get a higher payout, but in Uncle Sam's Mafioso world, Uncle Sam decides how much to take from you and how much to pay you, if he decides to pay you.

garage mahal said...

Haha. Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

Todd said...

garage mahal said...
Haha. Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

4/17/15, 9:28 AM


Its' a swing and a MISS, again...

Todd said...

garage mahal said...
Haha. Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

4/17/15, 9:28 AM


Did you not even read ANYTHING past the heading? I mean really, this is just sad at times. Do you have any clue as to the issues and points under discussion or did you see a "bumper sticker" dig at a non-liberal and just dive right into the pool?

EDH said...

garage mahal said...
Haha. Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

"Lure"? More like the government is fishing with dynamite.

Henry said...

Probably the most pathetic thing about the *zing* isn't that it's stupid. It's that it's old. My liberal Facebook friends have been dealing this canard for years. Did Daily Kos just notice this one? This is the Henny Youngman of *zing*.

Real American said...

and all those Daily Kossacks and other leftards that favor higher taxes never take any deductions or accept tax credits when they file their taxes? bullshit! Of course, they do. They won't pay more than what's legally required, even though they believe and often argue that they'd be willing to do so.

this argument is childish, but what else would you expect from this crowd?

MadisonMan said...

@AJLynch at 916! Ha! Yes indeed.

I can't help but think HR was super happy the day ol' ST decided to retire.

Bob Ellison said...

There is emotional argument here. Emotion is the vector against Jaltcoh's reasoning. If you like a law or policy, you must like it all the way, even to the point of disobeying the law. If you don't like it, you've got to hate it all the way, even to your own detriment. Otherwise you're a hypocrite.

That works for pacifists and Islamists, too.

CWJ said...

EDH,

"'Lure'? More like the government is fishing with dynamite."

Now that's funny! Unfortunately, I'll have that image stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

garage opens his mouth and ecoli-tinged methane is released.
Garage will stop at nothing to demonstrate his ignorance.

Garage...the human Ouroboros.

PackerBronco said...

Blogger garage mahal said...
Haha. Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

4/17/15, 9:28 AM


That's very nice dear. Now if you don't mind, we adults are having a conversation.

n.n said...

Contributory entitlements are not welfare. Programs once established are a government service until revoked through the People's consensus. There is no bigotry (i.e. sanctimonious hypocrisy) here. It would be the definition of insanity to impoverish oneself before there was an alternative.

That said, there is unprecedented bigotry by people who claim to uphold human and civil rights, and simultaneously support premeditated murder of around 1 million wholly innocent human lives annually in America alone. There is bigotry through selective exclusion, rather than principled tolerance. There is bigotry through denigration of individual dignity (e.g. class diversity). The is bigotry with so-called "green" technology, devaluation of capital and labor through trillion dollar deficits, displacement of American children by Dreamers, unannounced regime changes, expanded wars, etc.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I have a friend who seems to think that Republicans are mostly Objectivists whose main goal in life is to starve the poor so that their bodies can be used to fertilize plutocrats' diamond farms. (I may be exaggerating just a little.)

Ayn Rand seems to be a bit of an obsession with him and he likes to point out to people that Ayn Rand took social security in her later years (usually to people who he has to explain to who Ayn Rand was and what Objectivism is.)

The next time that he does that I will point out to him that Social Security is not a welfare program. It is a retirement program that you are forced to contribute to.

Ayn Rand paid into the system, she is entitled to take out of it. Taking Social Security does not violate Objectivist principles at all.

And if he doubts that, I will tell him he should approach some Social Security recipients and tell them that they are receiving government charity and see how that goes.

garage mahal said...

Horrible writer. Attracts overgrown children to her ideology. Worshiped a serial killer. And a complete fraud. No wonder Republicans love Ayn Rand!

Ralph Hyatt said...

@Garage Mahal

I'm a Republican and I don't worship her. I think Objectivism is nonsensical.

Also, I think it unlikely that most Republicans even know who she is.

Kyzernick said...

Ahh, Garbage Mahole is in fine form today.

Ralph Hyatt said...

After all, most Republicans are for bigger government and more spending, as long as their coalition benefits.

I believe you are thinking of Libertarians.

Bob Ellison said...

garage mahal, I don't like Ayn Rand's writing either. She could say in 99 pages what others could say in a few sentences.

I'm not familiar with the "worshipped a serial killer" critique. What's up with that?

"Complete fraud" is, as described above, just plain stupid.

mccullough said...

Garage,

I agree she was a bad writer. She beat the drum way too much (that's my trouble with Steinbeck too though he had more artistry). What's the serial killer thing?

Ralph Hyatt said...

I used to be for smaller government, less spending, and maximum personal freedom, but recent events have shown me that that is a pipe dream.

So, I have decided to be like everybody else and attempt to control government so I can force everyone else to conform to my beliefs.

Todd said...

garage mahal said...
Horrible writer. Attracts overgrown children to her ideology. Worshiped a serial killer. And a complete fraud. No wonder Republicans love Ayn Rand!

4/17/15, 10:26 AM


Really? Have you actually read any of her books or are you just parroting what the Kos kids say?

The Fountainhead was a bit wordy and I was not thrilled with the whole "rape" thread but understood the point she was trying to make. It was also a precursor to Atlas Shrugged where she clarified much of her thoughts. What exactly is it that you find objectionable in her works? The promotion of self worth and self reliance? The highlighting of what nanny state policies can bring? The moral certainty of her main characters? Their willingness to sacrifice all for what they believe? What? Please share...

Drago said...

Kyzernick: "Ahh, Garbage Mahole is in fine form today."

It is unfair to expect garage to have actually read what was written or understood what was written even if he had.

Such are his limitations.

Bob Ellison said...

Rand was a little like L. Ron Hubbard, but he was more creative. And more wacky. I couldn't make it through his books either.

Anthem is short and tight. She pretty much got it all done there.

Fernandinande said...

a "Zing!" by Daily Kos

Daily Kos uses many words, and some have several syllables.

Basil said...

Please read "We the Living" and then come back to discuss Ayn Rand. She was the product of unspeakable persecution by collectivist fascist, terrorists, aka Communists. She wrote novels and nonfiction to expose this evil to the world. She was better at that than anyone. Those who attack her are collectivist, fascists, terrorists, aka Communists. They would do to you what they did to Russia and Cuba in a NY minute if they could.

Anonymous said...

That's how I look at it. I don't believe I should ever have had to pay Social Security, or Medicare, or self-employment tax; I think they should have been repealed before I was born. Aside from questions of freedom and justice, they've created enormous distortions in the American economy. But many thousands of dollars of my earnings have gone to the treasury; I don't see the hypocrisy in getting it back.

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, I'm an author. My royalties are subject to self-employment tax. The "royalties" that are reported on Schedule E and are exempt from FICA are royalties from things like oil investments; they are not royalties on books, which represent a form of deferred compensation for labor and are typically reported on Schedule C.

Jack Wayne said...

I think SS is evil but I collect the money for 2 reasons: because the government took it from me and I want it back and because nothing will bring down this evil government faster than getting more money out than I put in.

Skipper said...

I may not like how roads are funded. Am I morally required to never use a street or highway? Silly.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, I am fairly libertarian (excluding national defense), but have no problem taking Social Security. I contributed for 45+ years, at the figurative point of the gun held by the IRS. I will revisit when I have recovered my inflation adjusted contributions.

Todd said...

And I am still amazed that they were able to spin Bush' limited adjustment to SS for support of (what was it?) 15% of future contributions going into your own private account within SS that you could never loose and could pass on to your heirs as equivalent to allowing Grandma to be raped by insane criminals. That was yet another MSM vilification that never would have happened if the media had an ounce of integrity. We could at least have had a reasonable discussion on the merits of that change BUT NOOOOoooo, do this and Grandma dies!

TosaGuy said...

It is impossible for anyone to live up the standards of the heros of Rand's books, but it is easy for people to descend to the depravity of the villains.

jr565 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

Keep this in mind about SS. Originally, it was designed as a general forced premium retirement program wrapped around a relatively small redistributionist welfare program. For decades, the welfare portion was kept under control by the realization that the national acceptance of the program was based on the fiction that we all contribute, and we all get back based on what we contributed. This was all starting to fall apart before the election of Obama to the White House. But, it really fell apart when his policies dragged us into the worst, and longest, recession of almost all of our lives (you would have to go back to the feckless policies of FDR to see worse). The Obama Administration weakened the requirements for SS disability retirement enough that the number of recipients soured, keeping those recipients out of the unemployment statistics, while significantly bringing forward the date of SS insolvency. Never fear - the Dems plan to solve the SS funding issue is to significantly increase the progressive nature of SS benefits.

Rusty said...

Any time SSA wants to refund the money I paid in. In a lump sum. I'll take it.
As I've said before. They don't even have to include the interest they'd owe me. However if they want to pay me back in federal land of mothballed boats or aircraft I want the interest included.

jr565 said...

It's a variation of the old chicken hawk argument. Basically, if you don't serve you can't comment on war issues, same premise. Only in this case, if you do partake of something therefore you are a hypocrite if you are opposed to it in theory. Even if you are compelled by law to engage in it.
Yet more of the lefts disingenuous argumentation.
I'm not a teacher, does that mean I can have no opinion on education? Think of all the professions you are not a part of. Now shut up about them. That's the gist of the argument.

Only the corollary would also prove true. If you are not serving in the military you should really have no say about wars in general. So therefore shut up you anti war activists. Unless you are serving you have no say.
People are serving and conducting war. You are not. So keep your opinion to yourself.

Likewise, suppose George Bush got social security to be privatized. Livs don't want it privatized. Would they take the money they put in, if it were structured in a way that they didn't like? Of course.

So shut up liberals. Your arguments are stupid.

Levi Starks said...

People who are fixated with Ayn Rand the writer, and the seeming disconnect between her lifestyle, and the ideology of the fictional Atlas Shrugged might be better served if they actually read the book,.
When I did I was amazed at how a work of fiction was able to so accurately reflect the cultural present in which I live.
My only fault with her, or the book, was that in places where it veered into scifi it fell a little short.

Brando said...

I could see how it's hypocritical though to support means testing for such benefits, then continue to collect them even when you're very wealthy--sort of like Bill Clinton whining about how he makes so much money and should have to pay more than he does, and yet he'd fire his accountant if he didn't get every tax deduction he had coming.

I Callahan said...

Even Ayn Rand succumbed to the lure of collectivism. Libertarians are complete frauds.

Have you even bothered to read the thread? Already addressed, and answered...

jr565 said...

For garage and other libs, if you want to talk about people who say one thing then do another thst actually does make your point let's consider:
http://hotair.com/archives/2015/04/17/melissa-harris-perry-doesnt-like-tax-cuts-or-paying-taxes/

So, she doesn't like tax cuts for rich, but owes money in taxes. Hypocrite!

Another example, people who say people should pay more in taxes. Lawmakers add a line in the tax code saying you can give as much additional money as you want to govt. no one pays any additional money to the govt.
But I thought you wanted people to pay more!
In the case of Rand taking SS payments let's not forget thst he put money into the system involuntarily. So it's his Money.
In the case of the voluntary payment to govt of additional revenue it's your money. But you have the choice to put your money where your mouth is.

Paul said...

The government made a deal with me 60 years ago, like it or not.

A deal is a deal.... break the deal, face the wheel (and Obama is slowly turning America into a Thunderdome!)

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I Daily Kos didn't have strawmen they wouldn't have no men to fight.

Sigivald said...

Yup.

(I oppose the mortgage interest deduction as bad policy.

I still claimed it , back when I had a mortgage, because it was in the tax code, and the State is hardly "owed" money it says I don't have to give it.

What do I look like, a !@^$ Progressive that thinks the State is Good In Itself, Axiomatically?)

Sigivald said...

mccullough said: Welfare and food stamps and school lunches would be a better example of hypocrisy

Why?

I mean, if someone was a Rothbardian anarchist, or a minarchist, sure.

But Hayek explicitly supported a "safety net" level of welfare state.

"Libertarian" is a pretty big tent, no matter what some people say.

(And Rand? Objectivist ain't libertarian - ask any Objectivist about that.)

Bryan C said...

"Ergo: all Social Security benefits are mere government welfare programs."

In reality that's true. But the people who steal your money do so under the pretext that they're running a legitimate savings plan. Using their lie to make a case against them is fair-play, in my book.

In other words, if the guy who stole your wallet tells the cop he was just holding it for safe-keeping, you'd be justified in asking why he threw it in a dumpster after taking your cash and credit cards. You're just forcing him to play by his own rules - it doesn't imply you actually believe him.

mccullough said...

Hayek wasn't libertarian. And the tent is quite small. Nothing wrong with being libertarian and accepting private charity. But being libertarian and accepting welfare is hypocritical.

William Chadwick said...

"Rand got Social Security!" is about on an intellectual level with answering any call for a less statist society with "Somalia!" It's the kind of thing the Stupid Left (and I'm talking garage mahal level stupidity) indulges in in lieu of a rational defense (which doesn't exist) of their agenda.

Bob Ellison said...

mccullough said "But being libertarian and accepting welfare is hypocritical."

Would you care to qualify that statement a bit?

Bob Ellison said...

And "wasn't libertarian" is kinda like "not liberal" or "not socialist" or "not conservative". It gets difficult when you have those glasses on.

James said...

But Rand was an author and royalty checks are t subject to Social Security.

This is incorrect. Publishers will send you a 1099 for the amount of your royalties. If you make more than $400, you have to report that on Schedule C and pay self-employment tax on your earnings.

mr said...

If you make more than $400, you have to report that on Schedule C and pay self-employment tax on your earnings.

And, I imagine, penalties if your estimated tax payments aren't sufficiently high to cover your actual income.

Goddammit, I hate that.

Largo said...

Tosa:
"It is impossible for anyone to live up the standards of the heros of Rand's books, but it is easy for people to descend to the depravity of the villains."

Zing! That really touches on something. Do you mind if I share it?