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The Nazis Had Social Security Too

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New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal is taking some jabs at the courageous members of Congress, which recently passed a bill denying Social Security to Nazis. Think about how much courage that took! Imagine the hate mail that must have flooded in from all the Holocaust deniers!

Or as Rosenthal put it so eloquently, “The Nazi bill is a political freebie. Passing it does not constitute a real achievement or a profile in courage. The issue is, at best, trivial.”

Who are those Nazis that the House is targeting with Social Security sanctions?

That would be the Nazis that the CIA secretly hired and protected after World War II, including Nazis who participated in the Holocaust.

Isn’t it rather ironic that the Congress gets outraged over bad things that the CIA secretly engages in when it’s the Congress that has kept this super-secret agency in existence and acceded to its omnipotent powers by fully funding it year after year and decade after decade?

That’s not the only irony in this controversy, however.

Consider what Representative Xavier Becerra of California had to say about Nazis and Social Security:

The perpetrators of the Holocaust have no place in the United States and under no circumstances should they have access to our crown jewel, Social Security.

In response, Rosenthal said that there should be “other contenders for crown jewel, like the Constitution.”

Why is all that ironic and, well, quite amusing?

Well, guess who else considered Social Security his crown jewel. Yep — Mr. Adolf Hitler himself!

Yes, believe it or not, Social Security was a core program in National Socialist (i.e., Nazi) Germany, just as it is here in the United States.

In fact, how many Americans today realize that Social Security did not come from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or any other of the Founding Fathers?

My hunch is, not very many. I bet lots of Americans would be shocked to know that the U.S. Social Security program and the Nazi Social Security program go back to the same origin — Otto von Bismarck, also known as the Iron Chancellor of Germany.

And guess where Bismarck got the idea of Social Security. He got the idea from socialists in Germany at the turn of the 20th century.

In fact, take a look at this page of the Social Security’s official website. It features not a bust of Washington, Jefferson, or Madison. It features a bust of Otto von Bismarck, the founding father of Social Security.

The Social Security Administration points out in glowing terms that Germany’s Emperor, William the First, wrote: “…those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a well-grounded claim to care from the state.”

How’s that for an expression of socialist values?

The SSA also observes:

Despite his impeccable right-wing credentials, Bismarck would be called a socialist for introducing these programs, as would President Roosevelt 70 years later. In his speech to the Reichstag during the 1881 debates, Bismarck would reply: “Call it socialism or whatever you like. It is the same to me.”

The SSA can engage in mockery all it wants but the fact is: Social Security was — and is — a socialistic program. It was a socialistic program under Bismarck, Roosevelt, and Hitler. It remains a socialist program today.

Moreover, this socialist program is endorsed by both the right wing and the left wing in the United States and no doubt by Mr. Rosenthal himself! In fact, it’s only libertarians who oppose this socialistic program.

It is somewhat amusing that Rosenthal brings up the Constitution. Why? Because there is no authorization in the Constitution for a Social Security program! So here is Rosenthal calling the Constitution a crown jewel of America’s governmental system but then noticeably failing to point out that it doesn’t authorize Social Security or, for that matter, any other socialistic program. Maybe Rosenthal just considers the Constitution to be a crown jewel of America’s system for its pretty words or the nice old parchment paper it’s written on.

Before anyone sends me emails saying that just because Nazi Germany had Social Security doesn’t necessarily make it bad, I agree. But shouldn’t the fact that Social Security was also a crown jewel of Nazi Germany at least cause us to raise our eyebrows?

After all, let’s face it: Social Security led the way to the revolutionary transformation of American society, from one based on freedom of choice and voluntary charity to one based on a socialism and mandatory charity.

Let’s also not forget that Social Security isn’t the only socialistic program that the United States and Nazi Germany have in common. There are also such programs as Medicare and Medicaid, government-business partnerships, a military-industrial complex, secret surveillance over the citizenry, tribunals for terrorism suspects, torture, public (i.e., government) schooling, CIA, military detention, the Interstate Highway System, gun control, the Federal Reserve, and fiat money.

In the words of that old Virginia Slims commercial, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Not!

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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