by hddun2008, Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:28:02 PM EST
During the seemingly endless Republican debates for their nominee to unseat President Obama, Governor Rick Perry might have given away the future strategy for ending Social Security (SSI) system. While his comment that SSI is a Ponzi Scheme got a lot of play from the media, my view is that his statement that SSI is unconstitutional is much more troubling. Does this mean that the Republicans have found that merely modifying the system as was the plan in 2005 by President Bush which would allow new entrants into the system to optionally put away some of their funds into private accounts is now been cast aside by the GOP conservatives. Because getting any change in Social Security through Congress even minimally is difficult due to the fact that senior receipents do not want anything done to the popular program which provides them with income benefits. Senior citizens vote in large numbers and will defend Social Security at election time.
So how is Governor Perry or other Republican President to get rid of the system which they hate so much. I would submit that they have been impressed with the huge changes to the legal landscape which has been wrought over the last 5 years by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts. One can easily imagine that a new Republican president would send their Attorney General before the Roberts Court to argue that Social Security is unconstitutional and should be thrown out. Perry even proposes making it a function for the States not the Federal Government. Several years ago, an author professed that the Roberts Court could not make any major changes to American law. Well, that may well change when the next Republican administration asks Roberts to decide on the matter. Just consider that the Court dumped over 70 years of law decrees in the "Citizen United" case last year which granted corporations the same rights to give money to political campaigns as real humans on Jan 21, 2010.
With a majority of just 5 Justices, the Supreme Court could end Social Security benefits for over 45 million seniors and disabled people.