Mitt Romney may believe Social Security is constitutional, but he would have a hard time convincing some of the people who pushed the Social Security Act into law. As I wrote in my book, “Control Freaks,” some of the main players involved in creating Social Security believed it was unconstitutional — and for good reason.
Yet, for them, not unlike many in today’s Washington, the ultimate questions were not: Is this good for the long-term future of the country, and does Congress have authority to do it? They were: Will this serve our immediate political interests, and can we get away with it? At Monday’s Republican presidential debate, Romney attacked Texas Gov. Rick Perry for, as Romney put it, holding the view that “Social Security is unconstitutional.”
It is important to note that neither Perry nor any other contemporary Republican leader is calling for the abolition of a program that has been in place for more than seven decades.