Perry releases op-ed on Social Security, honesty
September 12th, 2011
04:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry releases op-ed on Social Security, honesty

Washington (CNN) – Presidential hopeful Rick Perry set the stage for Monday's "Tea Party Republican Debate" by releasing an opinion-editorial that broadly defines his position on social security.

"We must have a frank, honest national conversation about fixing Social Security to protect benefits for those at or near retirement while keeping faith with younger generations, who are being asked to pay," stated the USA Today op-ed.

Perry, the governor of Texas, has made waves in the past for calling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme." Perry doubled down on at Wednesday's Reagan Library debate, repeating his "Ponzi scheme" charge while also calling Social Security a "failure."

In response, a number of other GOP hopefuls made statements supporting the program. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, called his position "reckless" and "wrong."

The op-ed does not use the word "Ponzi scheme," but with Perry trying to stress the honesty needed to address Social Security, the words "frank" (three times) and "honest" (four times) are peppered throughout the piece.

"The first step to fixing a problem is honestly admitting there is a problem," the op-ed stated. "America's goal must be to fix Social Security by making it more financially sound and sustainable for the long term. But Americans deserve a frank and honest discussion of the dire financial challenges facing the nearly 80-year-old program."

Perry, along with seven other GOP hopefuls, will be on stage tonight at CNN's "Tea Party Republican Debate."

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. wishing

    What we need is a frank and honest discussion about this unconstitutional ponzi scheme set up by the Democrats called Social Security, and we need to stop lying to young Americans that it will still be around when they need it.

    oh... and if that upsets you, then we can just fix it.

    September 12, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "He's right that SS needs to be reformed and I belive SOME form of privitization should be offered to those brave enough to attempt that."

    Gee, how many times do you have to run into that brick wall to know IT HURTS? If any part of SS were privatized, I guarantee that money would be lost by the Wall Street gambling addicts, who would then come begging to the taxpayers to bailout their sorry behinds.

    Repubs love to privatize gains and socialize losses ...

    September 12, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. kat

    Boy, this class warfare is getting old, the only solution, according to most dumb dems is to tax the rich, tax the business owners, tax anyone making over 200,000. Grow up! Get a job and quit living off the backs of hard working Americans who had the vision and the drive to work hard and be successful. Bunch of whiners!

    September 12, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. harold

    If you want to give the option for private accounts, what happens to those who lose everything? How do they eat, live, etc. Everyone agree they should receive nothing and if they die from lack of food or from the cold because they cant afford heat, I say let them go for it. They have to sign a contract never to seek any federal assistance regarding retirement, etc. Another way to control population growth; In reality bet less tha 10% would take that gamble if they didn't have 401K to fall back on

    September 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. chew

    1. 20 percent of americans already on social security.
    42 percent of americans unemployed or underemployed.
    20 percent of americans under age 16.
    2. MEDICARE.. for the 10,000 a day applying RIGHT NOW.. They put in a dollar for every $3 dollars they want out (with NO changes in the program.. aka "protect" our social security myth). Ponzi is only 100% not 300%
    3. Social security disability and SSI (not even paid with ss funds) spiralling out of control.
    4. The 2 percentage point tax holiday in 2011 and schedule to expand in 2012.. more smoke and mirrors.. the GENERAL fund is picking up the slack (taxpayers!!). Circular economics on steroids.
    5. Most people don't pay income tax... AND they don't pay social security tax in the first place.. aka earned income credits, child al... just to name a couple.. Only 6 percent of “workers” pay on the max limit of $106,800.
    6. Double dippers:
    a. NON working spouses drawing on working spouses..
    b.Custodial parents now getting part of the noncustodial parent social security via old child support order past due balance.
    d. Older spouses with younger spouses and young kids.... aka the LARRY KING affect... everybody gets a check.. young wife and kids.
    7. staying with the status quo on social security is insane…
    This story belongs on the

    September 12, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Richard

    Was "Ponzi scheme" a lexical malfunction on his part? Not. He's a Teapublican slash-and-burn advocate. Beware of such extremists. Next he'll want a theocracy but he'll say it as "moral government." Beware of such extremists.

    September 12, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Tony in Maine

    A Republican wanting to fix Social Security is like asking Jesse James to hold your wallet while you go for a swim. They have hated Social Security since it was enacted just as they've hated Medicare. Reagan called the latter the beginning of the end of the United States. I'm sure Perry also sees the two programs as harbingers of the Apocalypse.

    If Rick Perry is elected President, Canada and Mexico will want to harden their border security to stem the tide of Americans fleeing what was once the United States.

    Sinclair Lewis wrote a book that the literati don't consider up to their standards – but it is worth a read – It Can't Happen Here weaves a tale of life in post democratic America when an arch conservative is elected President.

    September 12, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    More "honesty" for Parry: Why are you so anti-government when you're one of the longest-serving employees of the State of Texas (almost 20 years full-time and 6 year part-time before that)?

    You didn't let Texas schools compete for $4 billion in grants as part of the "Race to the Top" program, saying that you didn't want the feds to tell your schools what to do. In reality, the budget you just signed has Texas accepting $65 billion in federal funds – with all "strings attached."

    Speaking of Texas schools: Texas ranks 2nd in public school enrollment, but 49th in teacher pay, 46th in SAT scores, 50th in residents with a high school diploma, 41st in high school graduation rates and 47th in state percentage of state revenue spent on public education. All after 8 years of Parry as governor ...

    Another fun factoid: Parry calls for cuts in government spending – yet the Texas state budget has grown by $80 billion under his watch.

    It's really fun to google Parry 🙂

    September 12, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. gt

    america there is a problem... wishing it was true .dont make it happen... to many on soical security that dont deserve it... raise the limit on wages and age.... but please dont act like we dont have a major problem .. you look stupid ...

    September 12, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Dennis

    The frank honest discussion better include the fact that the money I and my employer PAID for was used to wage wars and to enrich the likes of Halliburton, then want me to PAY for it again while we give tax breaks to the rich and Halliburton. LETS BE HONEST ABOUT THAT!!!

    September 12, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. thomas

    He will say anything , he has the look and hair that wins elections and game shows !

    Welcome to the New Season of the Survivor Show !

    We love bad actors !

    September 12, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. A Kickin' Donkey

    This is Rick Perry punking out ... the swagger's gone folks ... grannie scared it out of him.

    September 12, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. ted

    Typical GOP rightwing lunatic – keeps talking about the issue, but never once proposes a solution. Talk is cheap like calling a system a Ponzi scheme when many people depend on it to keep the lights on and food on the table. And privatizing is not a good plan because of all the fees and expenses dilute any growth and appreciation in 401Ks. Al Gore had it correct. The GOP has been wrong for decades.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 12, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. MedaBlkman

    Some how I really DO NOT see anything close to "honest" about Perry....................if your going "to have a discussion" please have a discussion which will include a DEBATE, not just your (Perry) thoughts on the matter. What a waste the repuks/KKKers/teabeggers are!

    September 12, 2011 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. x-rev

    I do hope the republicans nominate this two faced, closet homosexual as their nominee.

    September 12, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Mark

    Why not just let all those who cannot afford to keep their homes go homeless? Why not let all those who cannot afford medical attention die? Business owners should have the right to get rich while laying off those who work for them? Why should the wealthy help those who cannot help themselves? The bible is wrong.

    September 12, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "I'm surprised people get so offended by calling SS a ponzi scheme honestly, if you look at the textbook definition of a ponzi scheme, it's exactly set up like one."

    Especially if you're looking at a text book authorized by the TX Board of Edumacation.

    Try googling articles on the subject. There are a few out there that lay it out quite clearly that SS is nothing like a Ponzi scheme in very VERY significant ways. CNN won't like it if I provide links. Of course, if instead you want to just stick with superficial non-analysis talking points that really just constitute "here's what you want to hear" nonsense, then carry on.

    September 12, 2011 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Pretty sure Bush wanted to "fix" social security as well. Thank God HE never got his hands on it. Hopefully Perry (or Romney) won't either.

    September 12, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. conandoyle

    Sure, NOW Governor "ponzi scheme" wants an 'honest' discussion.

    Does he think this stuff isn't in the record?

    September 12, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. climberccm

    Perry is right in the sense that payments being made now to Social Security barely keep up with outlays. So in a sense we who are paying into the fund are supporting those who are receiving benefits now. SSN in its current form requires an ever increasing flow of money to pay current benefits just like a ponzi scheme. Below is the Wikipedia definition of a ponzi scheme:

    "A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

    The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases."

    September 12, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Unconstitutional?

    Governor Perry has said that Social Security is unconstitutional. President Perry will place his hand on the bible and swear to uphold the Constitution. Will President Perry break his oath to God, and support something that he believes is unconstitutional, or will his oath demand that he end Social Security at once? If SS is unconstitutional, then it should be abolished now! President Perry will appoint people to the Supreme Court that agree with him that Social Security is Unconstitutional. Once the Supreme Court declares Social Security Unconstitutional, then Social Security ends for everyone, including current retirees!!!!!

    September 12, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Voice of Reason

    Ironic that he mentions honesty... He's flip-flopped and split hiars so much on the subject of Social Security, that you wonder how long before he makes a statement like, "It depends on what your definition of the word is ... is..."

    In short, having Rick Perry talk about honesty and SS in the same sentence is as hypocritical as it is ironic.

    September 12, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Ed Texas

    Sounds like Perry is now backtracking on his comments regarding Social Security. He realizes there a few in Florida that like the socialist program. His "Ponzi Sceme" really shows us what he really thinks. It's bull what he says about anything including creating jobs. As if he did that all on his own w/out big oil and most certainly without Obama's stimulus, the very thing he howlers about. Perry has been a bad Governor and would being even worse as President.

    September 12, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. Wake up America !!!!!

    Rick Perry call Social Security a "Ponzi Scheme" rather than talking some sense in this fool. The right wing fringe eats it up, and the media feeds it to low information voters. This is how you invade the wrong country. The dumbness down of America.

    September 12, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Rosa

    Does anyone think he really wrote this? It was one of his campaign advsors. Another puppet hits the stage...

    September 12, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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