On Saturday, August 14 the Cato Institute and the Public Interest Institute cosponsored an informational forum on Social Security reform in Ames, Iowa, site of the Republican Straw Poll. Among the speakers was presidential candidate Alan Keyes. Following is an excerpt from Ambassador Keyes’ speech, and a link to the audio of the entire forum:
“I really think there’s no contest or debate in this country over what we really need to do. It’s not a hard case to make, and the minute you stand before people and start to talk about it you start to get their support. Because, after all, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about a system in which people get their hard earned dollars taken out of their pockets and turned over to a mythical trust fund so that the politicians can loot it, in order to use it for their political purposes, to pay for their patronage machines and other aspects of government, promising a return that of course we don’t get, because the money hasn’t been invested in any way that will get you such a return.
“So you have a choice. Between that system, of a looted Social Security Trust Fund, the only hope of any retirement being there for you will be the hope that in the next century when we have a dwindling number of workers to support you we’ll still be able to squeeze them dry in order to get some sort of help from them.
“Or, a system where you’re actually going to take that money, put it in your name, and invest it so that you’ll get a return on it, and it will be there for your retirement.
“You put that choice to any sane person in this country, and they will make it the right way.”