You may want to vote for the laughing candidate, but lots of old folks (and their kids) won’t be laughing if we elect someone who wants to destroy social security, as two of the Presidential candidates do (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this provocative show).

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s "Ponzi scheme" charge and Florida Sen. Mark Rubio’s assertion that Social Security is unsustainable recycle baseless attacks that go back as far as the 1930s, says Merton C. Bernstein, a nationally recognized expert on Social Security. Bernstein says, "These are attempts to muster political support by appealing to long-held prejudices to satisfy those who never accepted Social Security. To use them as guides to public policy would undermine our country’s most successful family protection program."

He thinks the Perry pitch is especially ridiculous, and says, "Ponzi duped investors by pretending that new contributions were wonderful profits. Social Security is utterly transparent. It keeps tabs on how its resources match up with expected program outlays and projected economic and demographics developments. Its annual reports keep updating that information."

He thinks Rubio condemns the present provisions of Social Security while ignoring the facts. He says, "Rubio darts from, ‘I believe in America’s retirement programs,’ to declaring Social Security not ‘sustainable.’ But that’s not true: Rubio argues that ‘When Social Security first started, 16 people were at work for each beneficiary,’ while ‘today there are only three for every retiree and soon there will be only two.’

The conclusion that too few people at work to support too many benefit recipients wilts under examination. "Social Security is designed to be self sustaining. As the Social Security trustees reported in 2011, it is fully funded for another quarter of a century. Modest measures that enjoy wide public support would assure Social Security’s funding for an additional 50 years. Due to the widespread failure of private retirement plans and the shriveling of private savings plans, Social Security has become more vital than ever to American families, not just seniors." Perry, alas, also rejects evolution and espouses "creationism."

WHO KNOWS what will happen in the future (NOTE: Use coupon 2012 to get $3 off our beautiful crop circle calendar through Friday, September 23rd!)–will we discover that time travel is real? (Or maybe someone else has ALREADY discovered how to do it) Sometimes a novel can tell you more than nonfiction, and Whitley Strieber’s novel "Omega Point" is one of these. You can get it from the Whitley Strieber Collection, and it will come with an autographed bookplate that was designed by Whitley!

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