Biden discounts Perry's 'Ponzi scheme' remark on Social Security
September 12th, 2011
11:27 AM ET
7 years ago

Biden discounts Perry's 'Ponzi scheme' remark on Social Security

(CNN) - Responding to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's labeling of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," Vice President Joe Biden said in a CNN interview the governor needed to check his facts.

"He should go back and find out who Ponzi was," Biden told CNN's John King in an exclusive interview to air Monday night. "It was an individual in a different deal, but no it's not a Ponzi scheme. It is secure through 2036 and to fix is not hard."

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Perry made the comment in his first GOP presidential debate Wednesday in California, saying it's a "monstrous lie" to tell younger generations that they will benefit from the system when they retire. He'd previously devoted a passage in his book, "Fed Up," to Social Security, criticizing the system and calling it a "Ponzi scheme."

It has since fueled a fire among the Republican presidential hopefuls, with many of them coming out against Perry's comment and trying to position themselves as pro-Social Security candidates.

Watch the full interview with Biden on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on CNN's "John King, USA."

Filed under: 2012 • Joe Biden • Rick Perry • Social Security • TV-John King U.S.A.
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    "Or is it just that much easier to ramp up the ad revenue by pretending Parry's "opinion" is somehow legitimate enough to merit discussion as opposed to debunking?"

    Why, yes it is!

    So, CNN, prove your journalistic chops by running a companion article (similar to a side-bar in a magazine), comparing and contrasting the way SS is funded vs a Ponzi scheme.

    I'll even write your last paragraph for you:

    "As clearly shown, Social Security in no way resembles a Ponzi scheme. Either Parry himself is clueless and pandering to the fears of his base, or his advisors are."

    September 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. BILL, WI

    Still the VP's statement raises some interesting questions. He said that SS is secure until 2036 and a fix will not be hard. So what will be some of the fixes, and will the fix only affect newer workers or also folks drawing SS.

    September 12, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Linda

    A Ponzi scheme is an illegal criminal act. Is Perry saying that the U.S. government is deliberately stealing money from taxpayers for reason unknown to us.?

    September 12, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. My Funny Bone Aches.

    It looks and smells like a Ponzi, all new investors pay off the old investors. The part I really like is how some people get pay outs greater than what they put into the system. And not a dime has ever been invested by Congress. We need a AT General with the balls to put Congress on trial for racketeering.

    September 12, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Taylor Wilson

    Social Security Robbed In 1983 Merits Payback, “In April 1983, Social Security reforms were passed. The reforms enabled our government to collect what accumulated to $2.6 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund. (The $2.6 trillion is a combination of taxes collected and accumulated interest.) Our government took that money from workers and spent it on whatever. It left us with a Social Security Trust Fund filled with IOUs from the U.S. Treasury…” Scott Burns, Austin American-Statesman, Business & Personal Finance, Section E, Sunday, August 28, 2011

    …and you have Rick Perry calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme?” Ponzi is not the crook in this case. My questions are: when they did the bailouts, why wasn’t it returned to the Social Security Trust Fund, and since that wasn’t done, how do they plan on returning it???? Let’s have each of the GOP presidential candidates answer this question. (Especially Rick Perry!)

    September 12, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. thomas

    Perry viewed the fire from the air and conferred with local officials. He said seeing the fire was a "surreal" experience.
    "I've seen a number of big fires in my life," he said. "This is as mean looking as I've ever seen, particularly because it was so close to the city."

    Perry 2012
    Enron / Country Wide Ponzi $$$$-

    September 12, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Bob in Pa

    @ Rudy in NYC
    Independents will tell you that Liberals are not Fascists, they are Communists.
    All dissenters shall be shouted down by the collective
    and everybody shall get same same.
    Except for those privileged enough to control the power.

    September 12, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. California Conservative

    Considering this remark from Biden that says it all.

    September 12, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  9. Bob in Pa

    Great argument against SS being a Ponzi scheme. Oh wait, you didn't make an argument did you ?

    September 12, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Bob in Pa

    @badcyclist – All people with normal jobs are required to pay SS.
    Those that are not paying have taken advantage of US citizens in a federally funded pension plan.

    September 12, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Ray E. Georgia

    According to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Monohan, Democrat from New York, Social Security has a funding problem because less and less people are paying into the program and so in time the fund will run out, or pay much less in the future. Those are the Cold Hard Facts. With the nearly 15 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt, the Government, read that Democrats, startng with Lyndon Johnson spent the money on Social Programs, read that Medicare and other such Programs. SO even with a Paper Surplles of money in the System there is no money because the elected Officals spent it. It is time to begin to Phase out Social Security and let people take responsibility for their lives. Barring a Mircile we are going to see another Depression, of which all those benefits will dissappear.

    September 12, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. coy4one

    Most U.S. citizens have wondered for some time about whether SS will survive long into the future. However, I think many Americans feel it can be fixed to some point. Do we really want a President who exaggerates based on his feelings and not facts? But then again, as a Texan, we are used to Perry exaggerating whatever he needs to, to get what he wants. But be aware, he is a puppet for big business and not for the people, no matter what he says....

    September 12, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Raise Taxes on the rich

    The Elephant in The Room says the Rich can pay more.
    I agree, lets seize the wealth of all those making ten million a year.
    Thats 80 x 10,000,000
    Strange, that doesn't even make a dent in any of our financial problems – get the picture yet ?

    September 12, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. California Conservative

    Some of the comments here are very funny, Biden smart? There's a comment that proves the commenter needs psychiatric help BADLY. No wonder these people want ObamaCare so badly.

    September 12, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Waiting to see how Perry will pirouette on the "ponzi scheme."

    September 12, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. Nash

    Can't wait for a republican nominee who will go on to win the Presidency. I am eager to see this because republicans have rejected everything that has been suggested to improve the economy. In fact I will vote for any republican nominee so they can cut government (or more jobs), increase unemployment. I am still waiting for tax cuts for the rich to create jobs. With any luck maybe the tax cuts will create jobs in say another five years maybe. I am still waiting for a jobs bill from the house of reps. If they waiting for the free market to work. Last I checked the free market has new stopped working. It still makes millions for investors!

    September 12, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Reggie from LA

    @Dan from Texas and Baby Boomer. I'm with you guys, but Oh Heck no!! You guys can't have your money back without me getting mine too. OK fine. If Perry says it is, it must be a ponzi scheme. We are complying with Perry and others. Give Dan, "Boomer" and me our money back (and everybody elses for that matter) before the Kochs and kind get it. Now you ask, "but what about Grandma?" My question is "Who did granny vote for and who does granny plan to vote for?". Let them them have their way and let us SS investors have our money. Noowww!! before SCOTUS gives due to their handlers and costs us our $$.

    September 12, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    A Ponzi scheme is a criminal act. So Gov. Yeehaw is suggesting that our government created a criminal enterprise. That 2.1 GPA is reallt shining thru.

    September 12, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Reggie from LA

    For future reference, I think we should refer to Gov Rick Perry as "the Ponz". You know, like from Happy Days only he'd be trying to create Sadder Days. Not like Saturdays. Aaaay.

    September 12, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. AlaskaPalin

    Perry's strong language was needed so that all stake holders will pay careful attention to the need to strengthen and secure this vital program. He did not say he will eliminate it. The fact that he had the political guts to challenge its workings tells us that he will be the one to reform it in such a way that present and future generations will be secured in their retirement. 'Ponzi scheme' is going to strengthen ss.

    September 12, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Peggy - Tx

    GOP fear Mongering at its best. When Perry does not have an answer, he just spills a line liner that has no meaning, then disappears and let others fill in the meaning. He is just like Palin, but not any wherea as smart as she is. No suprize that he is the Tea Party pick as Tea Partirers sure are stupid.

    September 12, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Russ

    So Mr. Perry equates the U.S. Government to be the same as Bernie Madof. Interesting.

    September 12, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    Anybody that doesn't have their head up their backside and has done any amount of research knows social security in its current form is a bankrupt ticking time bomb. It was program designed to take care of the elderly that won the life expectancy lottery (retirement age older than life expectancy) and the money was actually held in a trust fund as it should have been. But the politicians looted the trust fund and spent it (nice to make laws you don't have to live by!), leaving nothing but a giant pile of IOUs that YOU will have to repay. If a company had done this with their pension plans many people would have gone to federal prison.

    The social security system in its current form DOES resemble a ponzo scheme far more than it resembles a financially solid and funded private pension plan. But what do you expect from crooked politicians that have run this country to the brink of bankruptcy?

    September 12, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |

    Perry will deliver on what he says. When elected president he will end Social Security and Medicare. The truth is both of these programs Ponzi schemes. The thing I like about Perry he will lead this country out of the socialist hell the democrats have us living in. Just think a country that actually lives on a balanced budget.

    How is the time to support a CHRISTIAN FOR PRESIDENT.

    September 12, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    tom wrote:
    dems. want it both ways throw old people off the cliff in wheel chairs. biden social good for 50 yrs.
    Translation: I don't know. I don't know what to think. Can someone please tell me what the facts are. Thank-you.

    September 12, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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