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Are angry old people endangering their Social Security?

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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:17 AM
Original message
Are angry old people endangering their Social Security?
It occurs to me that, if the individual mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is somehow unconstitutional, then The Social Security Act of 1935 must also surely be unconstitutional. How is it that the federal government can have the power to force people to participate in a government-run (gasp) retirement plan, but not have the power to force them to buy private health insurance?

History repeats itself. Once the Social Security Act was signed into law, FDR's political opponents engineered a Supreme Court challenge, largely on grounds very similar to those proposed by the various Republican Attorneys General now claiming that HCR is somehow unconstitutional. In a historic decision that ought to be known to every American, but isn't, the Court ruled in Helvering v. Davis that Social Security was perfectly constitutional. I wonder if all those angry old people know that, if their side of the argument wins out (which it shouldn't), they might not get checks from the government any more?
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. I am an angry old person on Social Security, and I'm angry at the GOP for
being so fucking crazy.

I won't be losing anything, thank you.


mark
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
2. Social security isn't a retirement plan, it's insurance.
OADSI

They're not analagous, they are the same thing.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Even better!
I had forgotten that.
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terrell9584 Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. Uh......
Social Security is a government run program funded entirely by tax money and administered by the government.


Not analagous to the mandate at all.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. A government-run insurance program
See reply #2 above. They are exactly the same, except that folks are not being permitted to buy into a government-run program, but must choose a private one, much as the mandate that drivers carry auto insurance, or subscribe to Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance.

Though I had thought this was an original idea, the Clinton White House/DoJ cited Helvering in defending the constitutionality of its proposal. Other folks are starting to pick up on this as well: (scroll down to comments)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/3/23/164748/633

What got me thinking was hearing the arguments, this morning, by a lawyer advising the Republican AGs. His arguments sounded exactly like those from the whole New Deal line of cases.
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Walk away Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
4. I wouldn't worry about mandates too much.
There will be subsidies for those that need help and I believe the Public Option is on it's way (although it might be called something else).
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I'm not worried about the mandate per se
Just that it is being used as a legal excuse to trash the whole bill.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
5. If it is unconstitutional for the Federal Government to impose
a mandate for its populace to pay into private for profit insurance, the Supreme Court will just have to hand it down that as with Social Security, the federal government must provide public Healthcare aka single payor: Medicare for All.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. That would be nice
My hope is that it does not even make it to the SCOTUS, or that, if it does, they deny cert: if they were honestly opposed to judicial "activism," that is what they would do.

But we know this court is anything but honest. I really hope some of the Republican members will discover a longing to spend more time with their families.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
6. I smell a hit and run poooooost!!!! nt
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Why on earth do you say that?
If you suspected that, you could check my profile, to find I've been here since July 26, 2005, and have 3696 posts.

This is exactly the argument we ought to be making. The folks advising the Republicans are making the novel argument that the HCR Act is so very unprecedented that the Court should ignore precedent. Why are they doing this? Because this is a matter of long-settled law, and they have no case whatsoever unless they can persuade the court to ignore precedent.

They plan on making a tenth amendment argument, one explicitly rejected in Helvering:

"The purge of nation-wide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons. Not the least is the solidarity of interests that may once have seemed to be divided. Unemployment spreads from state to state, the hinterland now settled that in pioneer days gave an avenue of escape. Spreading from state to state, unemployment is an ill not particular but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the nation If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co. has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one or at least not greatly different whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey's end is near."

Much the same could be said of health care. Check the news: you will find no news stories on health care reform that cite Helvering, mainly because journalists today don't do their homework. As this matter presses forward, I expect you will hear more on this. This court would not have ruled as the court did in 1935, and they may try to find against the government by crafting a decision that strikes down health care reform without touching this precedent. If they do that, though, it is purest bullshit: if health care reform is unconstitutional on these grounds, then much of what the modern US government does is unconstitutional.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
7. I too am an angry old person and I have a perfect solution to their false rage
Have another old person circulate thru the crowds ,with an armed escort of course, and take their names addresses etc and see if they think since government should stay out of their lives would they give us SS, medicare and all government services that you would be glad to file the papers for them. See how quick they show the hades up.
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Alcibiades Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. People who get monthly checks from the government
should not adopt some sort of principled position that government should be in the business of helping those who need it.
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