Rick Perry: Let States “Secede” From Social Security
Texas Governor Rick Perry is making the rounds of the talk shows talking about his new book and yesterday he was pushing the very odd idea of allowing individual states to “secede” from Social Security:
Here he talking about it on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
And then later in the day on CNN’s Parker/Spitzer:
The opt-out that Perry refers to was a provision of Federal laws that allowed states and municipalities to create their own pension systems separate from Social Security. It applied only to public employees and did not apply to people employed in private industry.
Frankly, I don’t know how a state opt-out system could possibly work, partly for the reasons that John Cole points out:
Could someone explain how this would work? How does a state secede from a program? What would the practical implication be? Could I pay into SS my whole life while a WV resident, then when I hit 65, I have a stroke and lose control of my senses and decide to move to Texas, and then I would not be able to collect SS? I’m honestly confused. What the hell is he talking about? Could a state secede from the Post Office? Or the Selective Service? Or the VA?
Well, if the law allowed it they could, but I don’t see how it could possibly be a viable national system.
Social Security is desperately in need of reform. Personally, I favor expanding the ability of individuals to direct their Social Security taxes into private investment accounts that they control, but even that solution won’t be easy to implement. Talking about half-baked ideas like the one Perry is pedaling doesn’t accomplish anything.