Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
But authorized or not most Americans WANT social security. I doubt the supreme court is ever going to declare it unconstitutional, because the backlash would be huge. I think this is why we have Amendments to the Constitution. The Congress and the Courts have to respect public desires or else they actually amend the Constitution.

So the "founding father's original meaning" position is pretty silly. Amending the Constitution is right there in the Constitution itself. Many of those amendments are complete reversals of the founders positions.


The Supreme Court probably will not rule Social Security un-Constitutional. Even though they should. The Supreme Court made that decision after FDR's court packing scheme which might have helped some of SC Justices look at Social Security a little more favorably. Then in 1960 with the decision of Flemming v. Nestor the SC ruled that no one is entitled to the money they have paid into it. Should enough Americans learn that they might get a little upset. How much will people want Social Security when it goes bankrupt? How many will want it when they learn that their children and grandchildren will have to pay about 30% of their income, before they pay their income tax, so that those who are on Social Security will continue to get their (falsely) promised benefits? Had the SC ruled Social Security un-Constitutional this mess would not have been created.

In Helvering v. Davis, which ruled that Social Security was Constitutional, Justice Cardozo based his decision in the case on Alexander Hamilton's interpretation of the general Welfare clause. He should not have done that. He shouldn't have done that because Hamilton had nothing to with writing the general Welfare clause. James Madison wrote it. This is what Madison had to say about the general Welfare clause.

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/363/603.html
https://www.law.cornell.edu/socsec/course/readings/301us619.htm
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