Remember the First Time Social Security went Bankrupt?

Ron Paul vs Chris Matthews on Hardball

Listening to Ron Paul and Chris Matthews debate the virtues of Social Security brought back memories of my grandmother and the first time Social Security went bankrupt. I remember my grandmother being glued to the news for several months as she nervously followed the developments in Washington D.C.

I was a kid and didn’t really understand my grandmothers concerns and frustration at the time. The thought of my grandparents not receiving Social Security would have meant they would move in with us. I loved my grandparents and relished the idea of living with them.

One day, Grandma was very upset. She threw up her hands, shook her head, and said, “They just mailed out the checks; they have no money, but they mailed the checks anyway.” Grandma thought it was incredible the government could function that way.

Grandma angrily went on. “Social Security, Social Security! They said, ‘You don’t have to worry, because you’ve got Social Security.’ We would have never sold our business if we’d known this was going to happen.”

They had sold their small business to their son-in-law, and at the time, it made perfect sense. My grandparents would have their needs taken care of by Social Security, and the business would still be helping to support their daughter’s family.

I saw firsthand how government programs create dependency and the resulting fear, frustration, and anger caused by mismanagement. I still resent the government for the suffering caused by catching my grandparents in their “security net.”

DSC01827Sometime in the near future, millions of Americans will be reliving the pain my grandparents went through. On the plus side, there may be some very happy grandkids.

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