February 9, 2013
As a tax man I spent my first ten years tax planning and preparing the tax returns for the rich. The next thirty I spent creating and managing tax shelters for them. During that time I paid little or no attention to government welfare and entitlement programs or private sector charitable efforts. Like everyone else I just accepted the fact there has always been a need to help the unfortunate.
In 2005, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, a multi-millionaire himself, tried to promote the privatization of the Social Security to save that entitlement program from insolvency. The program had gotten away from a Congress that had promised trillions in future benefits it would never be able to pay.
I had always known that the program was a sorry excuse for a retirement program. The fact that Congress called it a "safety net" but sold it as an indispensable leg of the retirement stool had always got my blood boiling. Anybody with a financial calculator knew that a $60,000 truck driver had $9,000 deducted annually from his paycheck for payroll taxes – 15.3%. That if that $9,000 was invested weekly in the stock market for his or her 40-year working life it would generate a $4.8 million nest egg.
Even a minimum wage worker for 40 years would end up with $1.6 million.
Needless to say that was a good idea. Even the poor that were industrious and stable would become rich and could not only afford an affluent retirement but finance their own healthcare. The implementation of such a plan would immediately eliminate the need for such large Social Security, Medicare and welfare expenditures.
I started a website and a blog to promote the idea but ran into a real problem. It seems now after eight years of writing only a blessed few are really interested in making the poor rich. I should have known it then. When I asked Google for efforts to make the poor rich I only found two citations to a couple of monks in the nineteenth century.
It is my opinion now that President Bush's effort eventually failed as he was trying to solve a government debt problem rather than attempting to make the poor rich. Early on I came to the conclusion that making the poor rich and eradicating endemic poverty was the answer to many of society's ills – not just the financial ones. It was also an idea that citizens would buy.
For the last eight years I have wrestled with the failure of man to solve the riddle of poverty. I have come to the conclusion that he has never had an answer to the survival instinct. "I got mine, how do you make out" has always been the rule of the jungle. Until recently even Congress let their members use inside knowledge to bet on the stock market to become millionaires. Can you think of a more criminal and immoral act than using that knowledge to take money out of the pocket of the people you represent?
I can go on about selfishness and other sins but why. Man has never had the tools to solve the riddle of poverty until now. Here the in first years of the 21st. Century he finally has them. The digital age has matured enough to implement society-wide policies and structural changes because of social networking and massive data base capabilities.
And the first thing we should do is solve endemic poverty. The government has failed to do it. The private sector has failed to do it. Now it is time for the kids to do it. With their cell-phone computers, video capabilities and internet tools they can eliminate the need for them to finance the future costs of old age retirement and health programs like Social Security and Medicare. In the process most will be weaned off welfare and on to the road of becoming a millionaire. The kids should lead this charge.
Today welfare, entitlements and charity are excuses for society's failure to make the world a better place. But why make excuses? We now have the tools to eliminate welfare, entitlements and charity for all but the really unfortunate. Let's shrink the rolls of those who need charity, Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements. The only way I have found to do that is to make the poor rich. See TheUSAPlan.com for a comprehensive plan to effect this and other beneficial structural changes.
Dick McDonald, a financial professional and tax expert, is founder of TheUSAPlan.com
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