Lee: ‘More Likely to See Elvis Alive in This Lifetime Than to Get a Dime from Social Security’

By Craig Millward | August 5, 2013 | 12:20 PM EDT

Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) -- While speaking about Social Security, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked the audience at the Young Americans for Liberty Conference on July 31, “Most of you probably believe you are more likely to see Elvis alive in this lifetime than to get a dime from Social Security, am I right?”

Judging from the applause and cheers, it seemed that a large majority of the audience agreed with the senator. At the event, Lee was asked, “You mentioned Social Security and I would say probably most of the room on the way to the airport had to go through TSA and probably opted-out of TSA. So we were all trying to opt-out of TSA security, but what about Social Security? Would you allow our generation to opt-out of Social Security and say, ‘Look, we won’t take a dime from Social Security, we’ll take care of ourselves, let us keep our money.’ Is that a viable option, is that something that can be proposed?”

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Lee responded, “Let’s talk about Social Security opt-out. The reason that that is so appealing probably to every single person in this room -- and tell me if I’m right -- is because most of you probably believe you are more likely to see Elvis alive in this lifetime than to get a dime from Social Security, am I right?”

After the audience applause, Lee said, “That’s about what I thought. So, the reason for that it’s not arbitrary, it’s not irrational that you feel that way. You have good reason to feel that way. You’ve seen the government set up this program, set it up in the 1930s. It was set up as an investment program, an income security program.”

“It was kind of like insurance, it was kind of like a savings plan,” said Lee.  “The government told the people -- even though none of us were born when this happened -- the government told the people this can never be taken away. You’ll pay into it, the government will safeguard it, we’ll put it into a really safe box, and then we will give it to you when you retire.”

Lee continued by explaining that the FDR administration’s lawyers argued to the Supreme Court that Social Security was a tax, and not a retirement or an insurance plan, to avoid it being ruled unconstitutional. Lee said that, “Ever since then, Congress has been doing what it wants with money that is supposed to be going to Social Security.”

He concluded by saying there needed to be a system like an opt-out or “something that makes it yours,” and that “the government doesn’t have any right to it and the government is lying to you when it suggests that it’s your money because in fact it’s been used as a congressional revolving slush fund for generations.”

According to the Social Security website, “Social Security coverage is mandatory.

The law also does not permit a refund of Social Security taxes. The authority for the collection of taxes, including Social Security taxes, is published in the Internal Revenue Code, not the Social Security Act. (See sections 3101(a) and 3102(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.)”

Senator Lee spoke at the Young Americans for Liberty National Convention 2013 on Aug. 1 -- the event was held in Arlington, Va., from July 31 through Aug. 3. Other speakers at the convention included Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), and former GOP presidential contender Ron Paul.