Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian hero, last year said that allowing Social Security to exist is akin to permitting slavery. But during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Paul admitted to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that he collects Social Security checks anyway:
STEIN: A bit of a personal question then, are you on Social Security? Do you get Social Security checks?
PAUL: I do.
STEIN: Well, I mean, is there — you just told younger generations that they should ween themselves off this social contract.
PAUL: That is true.
STEIN: But you haven’t done it yourself…Don’t you think you chould have set a good example for the future generations. You’re not the wealthiest man in congress, I know that, but you have enough means to take care of yourself in retirement…Couldn’t you have set an example?
PAUL: No. I think the programs are so designed, just as I use the post office too, I use government highways, I do that too, I use the banks, the federal reserve system, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work to remove this in the same way on Social Security.
Paul is, of course, not the only conservative to benefit from government programs that he or she opposes. But his crankish view of the Constitution has brought him to the conclusion that Social Security is altogether unconstitutional, which also hasn’t stopped him from collecting benefits.