Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Puppet Masters

Sometimes I look at the balance in my checking account and wonder why I put so much into my retirement accounts every pay period.  As a good disciple of the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover plan, my wife and I put 15% of our gross income into our 401k and Roth IRA accounts every month.  So that means less for groceries, less for movie night, less for clothes at Kohl's.  It's very tempting to consider lowering the amount we put away--or to even stop saving for retirement "for awhile" just to free up more cash for "today".

And then we have moments like the one that occurred this week--and the number one reason why we are sacrificing in the "here and now" becomes all too clear.  I'm talking about President Obama's claim that Social Security checks "may not be written" next month, if Republicans don't accept tax increases as part of a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

I'm actually surprised that the President waited this long to raise the debt crisis level to DEFCON 5 by playing the "no Social Security" card.  I thought he might go with the "Soldiers won't get paid" angle first--but like the kids in "A Christmas Story", the President has decided to go right for the "Triple Dog Dare Ya".

I really feel sorry for the people who have been made to depend upon the Government for so much.  They are like puppets on strings--dependent upon the self-serving actions of competing political ambitons in Washington, Madison and even their own City Hall.  And every day, some of those politicians want to add more and more puppets to the strings.  Maybe they get some kind of power trip out of that.  "You will have nothing if you don't vote for me!"  Or maybe they really believe that giant bureaucracies really can take care of people better than they can take care of themselves.

Either way, I refuse to be one of those puppets.  And that's why my family is taking the steps necessary to have Financial Freedom farther down the line.  "Social Security won't be there for me when I retire"...I'm already planning for that.  "They wants to end Medicare as we know it!!"--I'm planning for that as well.  Try to scare me all you want, Mr. President--it isn't going to work.

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