Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has, to say the least, a very odd understanding of the Constitution. He thinks Texas should be able to opt out of Social Security, and he believes that everything from federal public school programs to clean air laws are unconstitutional. Yet in an interview with the Daily Beast’s Andrew Romano, Perry makes his most outlandish claim to date — Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional:
The Constitution says that “the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes… to provide for the… general Welfare of the United States.” But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116, you left “general welfare” out and put an ellipsis in its place. Progressives would say that “general welfare” includes things like Social Security or Medicare—that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document. What does “general welfare” mean to you?
[PERRY:] I don’t think our founding fathers when they were putting the term “general welfare” in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. (more…)
A Pivotal Moment in American History
With one week to go before an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the nation’s debt limit, the stakes are enormous. Some in Congress continue to press for steep cuts in programs for working families. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid remain in jeopardy. Funds for education, child care, nutrition, affordable housing, environmental protection and energy independence also are at stake. When Republican leaders talk about $3 trillion or $4 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, with no new taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, please understand what they mean.
SOCIAL SECURITY: The average Social Security recipient who retires at age 65 would get $560 less a year at age 75, under a proposal to change the formula which determines cost-of-living adjustments. The same retiree would get $1,000 less a year at age 85 than under current law. Another provision pushed by House Republicans would require that Social Security always be solvent for 75 years, an avenue to even larger cuts in benefits. All of this would take place despite the fact that Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit and has a $2.6 trillion surplus. (more…)
Charles and David Koch are worth $42 billion and make $13 million every day while vulnerable Americans struggle to afford shelter and groceries. Meet three Florida seniors who rely on Social Security and are fighting back against the Koch brothers attempt to make them homeless. They told the Kochs what’s on their minds. What would you tell the Kochs? Have your say at http://kochbrothersexposed.com (more…)