Unemployment benefits, Social Security and Medicare are not constitutional, according to the man likely to win the Republican Senate nomination in Alaska.
Joe Miller currently leads Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a bid to become the next Republican candidate for Senator of Alaska. In July, ABC News reported that Miller believed Democrats' attempts to extend unemployment benefits weren't "constitutionally authorized."
Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Joe Miller today added his voice to those who are critical of Democrats' efforts to expand unemployment insurance, and went even further than most candidates in saying that federally backed compensation to the unemployed isn't "constitutionally authorized."
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The unemployment compensation benefits have gotten -- first of all, it's not constitutionally authorized,Ã¢â‚¬Â Miller, R-Alaska, said on ABC/Washington PostÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Top Line.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the first thing that's gotta be looked at, so I do not favor their extension.Ã¢â‚¬Â
On Sunday, the candidate questioned the constitutionality of even more government benefits.
"You have also taken some fairly controversial -- some would say very extreme -- positions," CBS' Bob Schieffer told Miller Sunday. "First you say you want to phase out Medicare. You want to privatize Social Security. I have to say there are a lot of people in Alaska who are on Medicare and are getting Social Security. Isn't that position going to be a problem for you in the election, in this general election?" asked Schieffer.
"I would suggest to you that if one thinks that the Constitution is extreme then you would also think that the founders are extreme," answered Miller.
"We just simply want to get back to basics. Restore essentially the constitutional foundation of our country," he said.
"This means the federal government becoming less onerous, less involved in basically every item of our lives. And what that means is there does have to be some transition."
This video is from CBS' Face the Nation, broadcast Aug. 29, 2010.