I have seen multiple articles already on various websites stating “no entitlement program has ever been repealed.” I challenge that assumption and use FDR,THE NEW DEAL, AND THE CONSERVATIVE COALITION as my case in point.
A quick look back at the years 1935 and 1936 reminds us that in that time the Supreme Court struck down 8 of FDR’s social welfare programs as being unconstitutional.This resulted in his fatal overreach . He referred to SCOTUS as “nine old men” to garner public support and then thinking he had the people’s and the Congress’s backing, FDR then attempted to water down his opposition. Upset that the Court was hampering, even destroying, his successes in Congress, FDR submitted a bill to the Congress that doomed his ” 100 days plan to jam bills through congress” SOUND FAMILIAR? Known as court packing, FDR submitted a proposal to force mandatory retirement
on any Justice over a certain age (which would have eliminated three of his opponents) and to expand the size of the Supreme Court from 9 to 12. Congress was outraged that anyone would try to control the Supreme Court like that and suddenly became much less amenable to FDR’s further attempts at legislation.
FDR didn’t have much of a choice in “court packing.” It made no difference that he had a free hand with Congress if the Supreme Court nullified and invalidated everything that the Congress passed! He was forced to play the only card he had—support in Congress—to try to reduce the Court’s ability to hamstring his New Deal legislation. In this gamble Mr. Roosevelt lost. He remained an effective president and did much to ease the Great Depression, but never again was he given such a free hand in creating law and initiating policy.
That brings me to my second point, which is that with New Deal programs that were not struck down. a small group in congress known as the conservative coalition stuck together , even in the face of overwhelming democratic majorities in both houses. By holding their ground and remaining resolved, the conservative coalition was able to shut down a large part of the NEW DEAL when the US entered WWII.
If we look to our history as “guideline “, we can see the parallels of our past repeating themselves today.Lucky for us , we also have a blueprint on how to defeat a whole new crop of entitlement programs. The way forward is known-we need the WILL to get it done. I think we have it and I am committed to doing whatever is required of me.