With all this hoo-hah about the national budget, or lack thereof, I have an idea to save our country money. You know those Social Security updates we all get once a year?
Somewhere there’s a printer whose sole purpose is to produce these. And they do a nice job: 11″ x 17″ black and white plus one color, personalized with individual taxpayer information and address. One notification every year for each of the 157 million taxpayers who currently pay into Social Security.
Let’s conservatively estimate each notice costs one cent to print and personalize and one cent to mail. Yes, I know it costs more in real life, but we’re using our imaginations. We’ll give the federal government the benefit of the doubt here.
Two cents for each statement times 157 million taxpayers equals at least $3.14 million saved within the next year if the government stops printing them now. Paltry in comparison to our debt, but every little bit counts.
Then we’ll do what the government loves to do. We’ll forecast the estimated savings for the next 20 years: $62.8 million.
We can’t stop sending the notifications without notification! I have an idea for that too. The federal government can send one final notice.
Let’s print each taxpayer a simple 3″ x 5″ black and white postcard. It’s smaller than the 11″ x 17″ page, has no personalization except the address, and has no color. Let’s say it costs one cent to print and mail. We’ll still save at least $1.57 million within the next year.
The postcard will read:
We regret to inform you, the money is gone. You will not receive anything from Social Security when you retire. It will do you no good to sue us because there is nothing left and there is no clear defendant to name.
Since you will have to fend for yourself in retirement, you will pay a reduced rate of Social Security tax on what you earn effective immediately.
This rate will continue to be reduced incrementally during the next five years until it is cut to a reasonable, flat rate for all taxpayers. Any revenue collected for Social Security going forward will be used only for Social Security.
That’s it. No blame shifting. No grandstanding. No campaigning.
What about the shortfall when we pay less Social Security taxes into the system?
The way I see it, there can be no shortfall if there is nothing to begin with. Something’s got to give, people. No money, no spendy. That’s how it works in our house. And it hurts.
Telling the truth is another house rule. Sometimes that hurts too. There will be no Social Security for Gen X, and probably not for all the Boomers either. This isn’t a surprise. The emperor has had no clothes for quite some time.
I bet we could think up a hundred more ideas like this to save money. It’s time to talk truth, cut our losses, stop spending, and get creative to rebuild the wealth.
For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 1 Timothy 6:7 NIV
Dear Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, and members of Congress, Honesty is mostly what I need from you.