THAT’S ALL I’M SAYIN’ ABOUT THE “PHANTOM PHUND*”

By Joe Klock, Sr.

  Firstwife and I just welcomed our ninth and tenth Great-Grandbegats, a pair of identical twin boys. (Hold your applause, that’s not what this rant is about.)
   As a birthday gift, each of them and each of their nurserymates received something not bequeathed to American newborns of past generations.
   It was a personal debt of  $100,000 or more, a liability racked up by the peers of their parents and their parents’ parents, as well as those of Firstwife and this humble scribe.
   Those latter groups, including all y’all in this-here readership, are co-responsible for the fiscal irresponsibility which resulted in a national debt almost incomprehensible in size and totally unmanageable in reality, if we continue to spend like black belt shoppers.
   Let’s agree that the secret of survival in business is to take in more money than you pay out, and the business of government is in no way different.
   It is a basic economic principle which is learned the hard way in family life, but honored in the breach by our elected reprehensibles.
   It is that principle which has prompted me on several occasions to columnize the fact that our so-called “entitlement” to social security payments is no more valid than the sunny promises of Ponzi, Madoff and any number of Pyramid Schemists.
   My premise was, and still is, that – despite the admirable objectives of Social Security – the solid reserves which were to “phund”* future payment of benefits were raped and pillaged by our aforementioned reprehensibles and redirected for other unrelated purposes.
   That is to say, the money was embezzled, squandered and is as gone as a Christmas Goose and the wayward wind of pre-election rhetoric.
   In place of those solid reserves is a stack of IOUs which will come due during the lifetimes of our innocent and unaware Great-Grandbegats, when the can of accountability can no longer be kicked down the road, and for long years after readers of this opusette have kicked the bucket.
  Thus, future “entitlements” should now be regarded as a form of welfare, since they will be paid out of a long-empty purse.
   Furtherthus: Social Security “benefits,” sez I, should be paid only to those who need them to survive, which would drastically shrink the bill presented to future generations.
   However, each time that snippet of Klockwork reappears in print (and it has been widely republished), I am assailed by indignant geezers and geezers-to-be, who howl about broken promises, betrayed trusts and the undeniable fact that “we paid into that

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