Congress ignores pressing national business as it obsesses over Jan. 6

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As the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol begins public hearings, we must ask ourselves what motivates the members of the committee.

Is the only concern the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution? Or is it to get the media to attack and undermine political opponents?

It is indeed possible that breaches of the law could be investigated without a carnivalesque platform designed to garner the attention of the media and the nation.

The committee’s public material already reeks of motivations other than the search for truth.

The committee previously announced on its website that the January 6 incident was “one of the darkest days of our democracy.”

Oh good? Against a civil war where some three-quarters of a million Americans were killed, arguing over what American freedom is, an incident within hours, where law enforcement finally prevailed, was one of our “darkest days”?

There are only 24 hours in a day, so time spent on one issue means attention is not given to other issues.

If these members of Congress truly cared about our principles of freedom and democracy, they would not ignore other pressing issues every day in which the freedom of American citizens is flagrantly violated.

Take, for example, that as the January 6 investigation monopolizes media attention, on June 3 the trustees of Medicare and Social Security released their annual report.

Both systems are bankrupt and in disrepair financially.

Medicare’s cash shortfall in 2021 was $409 billion. The projection is that Social Security will run out of cash to meet retiree obligations by 2035, just 13 years from now.

The trustees estimate that there are only sufficient funds in Social Security to cover 80% of benefits in 2035. The payroll tax, now at 12.4%, should be increased by 26% in order to generate sufficient funds to meet these obligations.

In other words, today every American worker 55 and younger who plans to collect Social Security benefits at age 67 is paying a payroll tax in a system that cannot deliver the promised benefits.

Can you imagine a private insurance company sending a letter to policyholders saying that in 13 years they will only be able to meet 80% of the payments promised to policyholders?

The suits would fly.

Let’s forget for a moment the financial situation of the system and whether it is even worth saving this program. What about the issue of freedom that our members of Congress want us to believe care so much about?

Let’s take a 21-year-old citizen, freshly graduated, entering the job market for the first time. Immediately, 12.4% of their salary is deducted into a system they enter involuntarily, in which there are insufficient funds to meet the promised benefits.

Shouldn’t this new young worker be able to say, “No, thank you, I don’t want to participate”?

Even if the system wasn’t broken, and benefits could be paid, in our free country, shouldn’t everyone be free to manage their own retirement?

According to the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, the average return on Social Security over the past 40 years was 1%. Over the same period, the average stock return was 6%.

Let’s go back to this new young worker, according to the calculations of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, this single worker, if he earned the median national income and was able to invest 10% of his income in a diversified portfolio of stocks and 40-year bonds, instead of paying payroll tax, could have an annual retirement income of $55,143 versus $19,646 from Social Security.

So, hey, members of the select committee. Enough of pretending you care about American freedom. How about wrapping up the carnival and getting to grips with the real challenges facing every American today?

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.

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Star Parker is the founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) and host of the new weekly talk show “Cure America with Star Parker.”

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