Congressman Paul believes that Social Security is unconstitutional, and has degenerated into a Ponzi scheme. A Ron Paul presidency would see a gradual phasing out of Social Security, although his administration would honor existing retirees who depends on the agency’s monthly check. Paul, who opposes plans to privatize the agency, believes that Americans should not depend on the government to take care of themselves.
Chris Wallace: You talk a lot about the Constitution. You say Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, are all unconstitutional.May 15, 2011: Paul on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace.”
Ron Paul: Technically they are.
Chris Wallace: Why? Why?
Ron Paul: There's no authority. Article 1, Section 8 doesn't say I can set up insurance program for people. What part of the Constitution… The liberals are the ones that use the general welfare.
Chris Wallace: OK. All right. Well, I don't know that I'm a liberal, but let's put it up on the screen, because that's exactly the point. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution:
“The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes - to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”
Doesn't Social Security come under promoting…
Ron Paul: No. Absolutely…
Chris Wallace: … promoting the general welfare?
Ron Paul: Absolutely not.
Chris Wallace: Why not?
Ron Paul: General welfare is a general condition, maybe sound currency is general welfare, maybe markets, maybe judicial system, maybe a national defense, but this is specific welfare. This justifies the whole welfare state, the military industrial complex, the welfare to foreigners, the welfare state that imprisons our people and impoverishes our people and gives us our recession.
So, no. Why would you have Article 1, Section 8? And why would you have the Amendment number 9 and 10? That means there is no reason for article 1, number 10 if you believe that? Revenue clause? That is such an extreme liberal view point that has been mis-taught in our schools for so long. And that's what we have to reverse, that very notion that you're presenting.
Chris Wallace: Congressman, it's not just a liberal view. It was the decision of the Supreme Court in 1937 when they said that Social Security was constitutional under Article 1, section 8 of the Constitution.
Ron Paul: Yes. And the Constitution and the court said slavery was legal, too. And we had to reverse that. So, I'll tell you, just because a court in '37 went very liberal on us and expanded the role of government - no, I think the original intent is not a bad idea. I think limitation of government power. If we aren't clear on this, we're going to get into a mess. Our government is going to get very big -- and we're going to have a very big deficit and we're going to have a financial crisis. And it's type of thinking that is leading to us to that very problem that we're facing today.
The greatest threat to your Social Security retirement funds is Congress itself. Congress has never required that Social Security tax dollars be kept separate from general revenues. In fact, the Social Security “trust fund” is not a trust fund at all. The dollars taken out of your paycheck are not deposited into an account to be paid to you later. On the contrary, they are spent immediately to pay current benefits, and to fund completely unrelated federal programs. Your Social Security administration “account” is nothing more than an IOU, a hopeful promise that enough younger taxpayers will be around to pay your benefits later. Decades of spendthrift congresses have turned the Social Security system into a giant Ponzi scheme, always dependent on new generations. The size and longevity of the Baby Boom generation, however, will finally collapse the house of cards.November 8, 2004: Social Security: House of Cards, by Ron Paul, Texas Straight Talk
We've all heard proposals for “privatizing” the Social Security system. The best private solution, of course, is simply to allow the American people to keep more of their paychecks and invest for retirement as they see fit. But putting Social Security funds into government-approved investments could have dangerous consequences. Private companies would become a partner of sorts with the government. Individuals still would not truly own their invested Social Security funds. Payroll taxes likely would be raised to cover payments to current beneficiaries, as the President alluded to when warning us that fixing Social Security would be “costly.”
Wolf Blitzer: Let me ask you this hypothetical question.September 12, 2011: CNN/Tea Party Republican debate, Tampa
A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?
Ron Paul: Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.
Wolf Blitzer: Well, what do you want?
Ron Paul: But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced…
Wolf Blitzer: But he doesn’t have that. He doesn’t have it, and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?
Ron Paul: That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody –
Wolf Blitzer: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?
Ron Paul: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio , and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.