COMMENTARY | Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said on "Morning Joe" Wednesday that he collects Social Security checks even as he wants younger people to become less dependent on it, as reported by The Huffington Post.
There's nothing hypocritical about Paul getting his Social Security checks because there are many aspects of existing in society which we may not like, but we have to deal with both the positive and negative effects, no matter how much we may work to reform the things we desire to see changed.
Paul is also a staunch critic of the Federal Reserve system. The Hill quoted him before the scheduled congressional hearing in May that he was to chair called "The Federal Reserve System: Mend It or End It?," in which he stated, "The Fed continues to reward Wall Street banks while destroying the dollar's purchasing power and driving up the cost of living for average Americans."
As much of a critic that Paul is of this system, he, like the rest of us, can't go grocery shopping or buy a tank of gas unless he uses the Federal Reserve notes in his wallet. And even if he pays for his purchases with credit cards, credit card balances are paid via U.S. currency.
So while Paul may want the Federal Reserve and Social Security massively reformed, he still has to deal with the reality of being in American society. He's no more a hypocrite for carrying around U.S. paper money than he is for collecting Social Security checks.
Paul has called for young people under 25 years of age to be able to opt out of the Social Security system, per the Huffington Post article. It's this aspect that is most troubling, for according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics/Social Security board of trustees 2010 data, there were some 93.6 million full-time private-sector workers that were helping to support all Social Security recipients (about 53.4 million), or a ratio of 1.75-to-1, as reported by CNSNews.com in September.
If Paul's plan to get young people off of Social Security were started today, it would mean even less folks supporting the system, which would undermine the program for those approaching Social Security benefits age as well as current recipients like himself.
Paul might be able to do without his Social Security check, but not all recipients can. That, in effect, makes him impractical, not hypocritical.