Steven J. Allen, Violation of Trust (The Seniors Coalition, 1995)
[originally posted 12Mar2001]
It seems the simplest of questions, and yet the answer is anything but simple: where do the tax dollars you pay into Social Security go, and does the government really guarantee you’ll get that money back?
Steven Allen gives us an overview of the answer in Violation of Trust, and what he’s saying is nothing terribly new to an American public that hasn’t trusted the government in decades, but the mechanisms the government has used over the years, from the very passing of the laws that brought Social Security into existence, read like a primer on why centralized government has never been the best answer for how to run the country.
This book was commissioned by a Washington special interest group, and so there’s a rather unacceptable amount of horn-blowing about the greatness of the Seniors Coalition and how they’ve been fighting the good fight, etc. etc. ad nauseam, but if you can get past the rhetoric, there’s a good deal of actual worthwhile information here. The book is somewhat dated by necessity (the Balanced Budget Amendment was passed a few months after this came out, and Allen holds out hope that the BBA will help save Social Security a number of times throughout), it’s worth a few hours of perusal. If nothing else, you’ll come away with a better understanding of why you never quite trusted the government. ** ½