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Bert Dirschell


Dear Editor:

The U.S. is supposed to be a Constitutional Republic; a form of government where "We the People" elect people to represent us, and where the powers of those elected are limited to those we granted them in our Constitution.

I am not commenting on the merits of any of the programs mentioned; I am merely questioning when/if "We the People" empowered the federal government to institute, and/or fund, said programs.

The day Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law — April 14, 1935 — was a major turning point in our nation's history. Since then, the federal government has run amok finding new income redistribution programs. Our federal Constitution was ratified in 1788. "We the People" survived, and our nation flourished, for nearly 150 years before the federal government decided it had the power to enact Social Security. From 1937-49, employees and employers paid 1 percent on the employees' first $3,000 of income (a maximum total tax of $60, $1,100 in 2019 dollars). Self-employed people were not taxed. Today, a self-employed person pays 12.4 percent on his/her first $127,200 of income, or $15,800; more than 14 times more, and the system is going broke.

In May 1961, an unemployed family with 15 children collected the first of our modern-day food stamps. Somewhere federal politicians had found "We the People" had granted them the authority to extort money from some and use it to feed the children of people whose irresponsible behavior produced children they were unable to feed. Inflation-adjusted median household income was more than 10 percent higher in 2019 than in 1970. In 1970, about 2 percent of our population was collecting food stamps; the cost to U.S. taxpayers was $56 per household (2019 dollars). By 2019, the number had grown to 14 percent and the per household cost was $475.

Medicaid was signed into law in 1970. The cost to U.S. taxpayers was $263/household (2019 dollars), and by 2019, the cost had skyrocketed to $3,230/household.

Will someone please cite the article/section/amendment of our Constitution where we knowingly gave federal politicians the authority for these federal income redistribution programs? By the way, nothing in the federal Constitution prevents state and local government from providing services rendered by these programs.

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