Here in Michigan the State Legislature took the lead from Governor G. Mennen Williams who in 1949 initiated the proposal for creating a new taxpayer funded program to first “study” the “problems” of “Older Adults”.
The progressive G. Mennen Williams supported statutory initiatives to mask the failures of Public Act 280 of 1939.
This led to the enactment of Public Act 11 of 1960 that established a Michigan Commission on Aging within the Department of Social Services.
This Public Act 11 established a new spending program that took off with Federal Subsidies garnered under the Federal Older Americans Act of 1965.
This Federal enactment public law 89-73, House Resolution 3708, titled “Older American Act of 1965” is a tax and spend program. Why a tax program? All the Federal Congress may do is appropriate funds which require taxation. Wrapped within these tax bills, is the promise of an administrative largess, which is put upon the fiscal stick and waived over the heads of the State Legislative assembly.
The result here in Michigan is the State Legislature jumped upon the tax and spend program and enacted corresponding law Federally defined as the State plan. Overnight the Legislature in Lansing pandering to the Federal Government enlarged the Commission on Aging’s reach at the State and local level under the guise of caring for “older Americans.
The political reality is this Federal Enactment came about due directly to the failure of the Social Security benefit program first enacted in 1935, as amended in 1939.
The Federal Social Security Law is completely reliant upon State Legislation to fund this troubling benefit program. The unspoken reasoning behind the Older Americans Act of 1965 was that the Social Security benefit matrix had collapsed in the early 1960’s.
The Actuaries had designed the 1935 Social Security tax and take program on the premise that elder Americans would not live past age 65.