Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes Social Security is unconstitutional, and has proposed an economically impossible plan to eliminate Social Security and transfer responsibility for seniors’ retirement to the states.
In response to Perry’s opposition to Social Security, the Romney campaign circulated four statements by Florida elected officials criticizing Perry — including an unusually thoughtful statement by Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL):
Rick Perry has said that he wants Social Security to go back to the states. Given the challenging budgetary situation many states are already in, his plan could put retirees and near-retirees in an even more precarious position. Would states like Florida have to choose between honoring our promises to seniors and paying for education and public safety?
Mack, who has endorsed Romney for president, is right to worry about Perry’s plan, but the reality is even worse than Mack suggests. As a recent Center for American Progress white paper explains, Perry’s state takeover of Social Security would completely destroy Florida’s ability to function:
Under our current system, someone who begins their career in Ohio, moves to Virginia to accept a better job offer, and then retires in Florida pays the same federal taxes regardless of their residence. These taxes then fund programs such as Medicare and Social Security. If each state were responsible for setting up its own retirement system, however, the person described above would pay Ohio taxes while they worked in Ohio, Virginia taxes while they lived in Virginia, and would draw benefits from the state of Florida during their retirement. The state which benefited from their taxes would not be the same state that was required to fund their retirement, and the result would be an economic death spiral for states such as Florida that attract an unusually large number of retirees.
Simply put, Perry needs to stop getting his policy advice from radical tenthers with no understanding of the Constitution and even less grasp of basic economics.