Speaking of Social Security in Iowa, Rick Perry commented:
"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. It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."His words voice concern for our young people and the future of our nation. An elderly lady in the clip was seen to be nodding in agreement, aware of the financial problems that out of control spending has placed upon her grandchildren, and the truth if what Perry was saying.
Nevertheless much bally-hoo was made of his comment, mostly from the left as can be seen as posted at TPM (Talking Points Memo). The left is gleeful that Republican frontrunner Perry may have exposed himself to being lied about and pilloried before one of the most steady voting groups in the nation: America's senior citizens. The general assault against Perry runs either he doesn't have a clue what he was talking about, or he intends to dismantle Social Security. The left takes such glee in scaring senior citizens.
A typical leftoid comment was this from a commentor that goes by the label latichever:
It's amazing to me how emboldened they have become, from believing that Social Security is the third rail of American politics, to Bush's partial privatization, to calling it a Ponzi scheme. Does this mean that the discussion has shifted that far to the right? Or does it mean we're in Goldwater 1964 territory?Wrong-o latichever. Stanley Kurtz, of National Review On Line offers a tad more light on the topic:
I hope the latter.
"Perry’s Ponzi-scheme claim is in no way unprecedented. On the contrary, the Ponzi comparison has been a staple of conservative warnings about Social Security’s financial soundness for decades. More intriguing, the Ponzi scheme analogy was popularized by a liberal Nobel Laureate economist, who initially offered it as a defense of the system, acknowledging only later that his defense was at least partially flawed. In the decades that followed, many honest liberals have made the Ponzi scheme comparison in the course of calling for systemic reform. Those liberals have bemoaned bipartisan deception and timidity on the Social Security issue, and praised those rare and courageous political souls, such as Alan Simpson, who were willing and able to call a Ponzi scheme by its real name."The truth is most all of us in our early fifties and younger realize that there is no way this program can be sustained to provide retirement funds as we live on into our seventies and eighties.
Rick Perry was gutsy to even broach the issue. This is not a topic his primary competitors should take issue over. We should support him in this.
Update: September 13th
Well, Mitt Romney managed to step in it at last night's Republican Presidential debate. Mark Steyn commments on it here.