Rick Perry Is Terrible

I mean, obviously we all know that Republican Governor of Texas Rick Perry, who wants to be US president, is terrible. I'm just not sure those of us who live outside of Texas know just exactly how terrible he actually is.

Like, for instance, did you know that he thinks the 17th Amendment the the US Constitution, which took the power to elect US Senators from state governments and put it in the hands of citizens, is garbage, for reasons he cannot logically defend? It's true!

That is only one of many fun facts you can find out about Rick Perry in this interview with Andrew Romano for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, my favorite part of which is this exchange about Perry's belief that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional (reporter in bold):
The Constitution says that "the Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes… to provide for the… general Welfare of the United States." But I noticed that when you quoted this section on page 116, you left "general welfare" out and put an ellipsis in its place. Progressives would say that "general welfare" includes things like Social Security or Medicare—that it gives the government the flexibility to tackle more than just the basic responsibilities laid out explicitly in our founding document. What does "general welfare" mean to you?

I don't think our founding fathers when they were putting the term "general welfare" in there were thinking about a federally operated program of pensions nor a federally operated program of health care. What they clearly said was that those were issues that the states need to address. Not the federal government. I stand very clear on that. From my perspective, the states could substantially better operate those programs if that's what those states decided to do.

So in your view those things fall outside of general welfare. But what falls inside of it? What did the Founders mean by "general welfare"?

I don't know if I'm going to sit here and parse down to what the Founding Fathers thought general welfare meant.

But you just said what you thought they didn't mean by general welfare. So isn't it fair to ask what they did mean? It's in the Constitution.


OK. Moving on.
A gentleman AND a Constitutional scholar!

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus