No, it does not. And I am aware of conflicting opinions. You're a pretty savy investor, from what i've read here. Wouldn't you like to have had the option of managing the money that you've contributed into that system?
Here's one for you, if one accepts the going interpretation of general welfare, does the earmark system comply? Both parties seem to have a love for it, but it seems too specific to be general.
The rest of your post I agree with. My fleeting hope is this election cycle will lead to the GOP returning to its conservative roots and a purging of the neocons. The party and country could use it.
The earmark system is nothing more [or less] than a shopping list that any person/family/team/company/city/government would do. It as gotten a bad name for things like the Bridge to Nowhere or the paving of Bubba's parking lot and boat ramp under DHS funds down in Southeast Kentucky.
What doesn't get mentioned are the mammography units, mobile labs, temporary school trailers and other items that are used in very rural areas that don't have the clout or tax base to build their own hospitals or shiny new schools. Down in Harlan County they just this Sept 1 replaced the High School that my father attended back in the 1930s. It has been a primary high school for eight decades, last remodeled in the early 1970s. So earmarks are not all bad things. But I can't imagine the time required to discuss Evarts High School in the massive Congressional budget and schedule, a requirement if earmarks did not exist.
What needs to occur is for "earmarks" to be redefined to make sense of the spending. Let people understand that if we send these folks to DC to make $Trillion decisions, they have to be responsible to make some all on their own. Oversight of the 10% of passed earmarks is helping insure that.
As for Social Security, yes, most of the folks on this board are very much able to invest their own money because we think about the requirements. What about the folks that do not have that skillset? To them it is not a good option, it is a burden. If they do it correctly GREAT, if it is done incorrectly WE STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT when they get old and quit work [because we don't leave people in the woods to die in the snow]
Now, the 83% of Americans who DON'T do stock market have a way to deal with partial retirement. They simply have X taken out weekly and when they turn 62-65-70 they get a check a month. It is their money.
Much like the whining about Social Security now is odd as it is monies paid in by taxpayers yet some people whine that the Government has to pay these people. It's the people's money. Who forgot that?