Q: Why did you start Free the Facts? What made you want to share information about federal entitlement programs, student loans, and pensions?
A: I went to West Point, where they teach you learn duty, honor, country – and it’s not a corny phrase. The country has been pretty good to me. And if you’ve done well, as I have, then I think you have a responsibility to go out and tell the next generation – the people who can do something about it – about our problems so they can be thinking about them.
If they don’t know about the problem, then they have no chance. So, I think I owe it to the next generation to make sure they have the facts.
Q: What makes you passionate about the topic of Social Security specifically?
A: It’s just math. None of this stuff works in its current form. I don’t need Social Security, but I have to take it. I’ve thought about how much money I get each month. Imagine if a family that really needed it could get that money instead of me. It would make a huge difference in their lives.
So I thought: since this doesn’t make any sense why don’t I go explain, or do the best I can to explain, the problem and then let the kids that are very smart figure it out and fix it?
Q: Do you have any solution to these problems?
A: I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know. If I knew, then we wouldn’t have to do this.
Q: What do you want students to take away from Free the Facts’ programs and presentations?
A: We’re visiting and talking with people that are very smart, very young, and going to be very connected to this problem. We’re going to tell them the facts. And what they do with that information – just like everything else in their life – is their decision.
The people we’re talking with are young. They’re going to get out of college and get jobs. Some of them are going to get married and some of them are going to have children. They should understand what part of their income is going to be the government’s and not theirs.
Like I said, it’s their decision what they do with the facts. But I hope that they say, “Ok, I’m going to become active. I’m going to figure out what I think the solution ought to be. I’m going to start talking to leaders and the people who can actually make a difference when it comes to these problems. And I am going to demand that they actually do whatever they tell me they are going to do about it.”