George W. Bush tried to get rid of
Social Security too (Jason Reed/Reuters)
You know how Rick Perry's campaign spokesman claims
that Rick Perry no longer believes some of the things he wrote last year in his right-wing manifesto, "Fed Up!"? Well yesterday, Rick Perry himself put that idea to rest
Later, in Des Moines, when a reporter asked about the suggestion that his campaign was backing off some positions in the staunch states-rights book, Perry said, "I haven't backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right."
In his book, Perry argued Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be dissolved, a claim that he defended while promoting his book. Now, however, despite saying he stands behind his book, he's telling people that he never said the programs are unconstitutional.
I look at Medicare just like I look at Social Security. They’re programs that aren’t working and we ought to have a national conversation about it. Those that have said that I said they’re unconstitutional, I’m going to have them read the book. That’s not what I said. I said that we need to have a conversation, how are we going to have programs that actually work.
Except in his book he did say they were unconstitutional. So I guess he stands behind his book in the same way that Bernie Madoff stood behind his Ponzi scheme. But (speaking of Bernie Madoff and Ponzi schemes) he isn't backing away from this:
Asked by a woman in the crowd about Social Security being viewed as an entitlement program, Perry reiterated the suggestion in his anti-Washington book, Fed Up!, that the program amounts to a Ponzi scheme.
"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie," Perry said. "It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."
The only way Social Security could ever become anything like a Ponzi scheme is if we suddenly ended Social Security. But that's exactly what Rick Perry says he wants to do as recently as two weeks ago:
Look, the whole issue of—have you read my book, ‘Fed Up!’?
Get a copy of it and read it, becaue I talk about the entitlement programs in there.
And listen, how many people in here are less than 50 years old in this audience? All right, I got in trouble by asking that question right off the bat, there, but these young kids who are coming along, they know for a fact there’s not going to be a Social Security and Medicare program. They know that.
So we have to have an adult conversation with this country. We have to talk about how are we going to transfer over. How are we going to make the transformation.
So, yes, Social Security could become something like a Ponzi scheme...but only if Rick Perry has his way.