Even Rick Perry's Staff Can't Keep Perry From Saying Stupid Things About Social Security

Rick-Perry-Heritage.jpg
"I've got two words for you old people: 'Go fuck yourselves.'"
Perhaps it's been awhile since you've re-read Rick Perry's book Fed Up, in which he chronicles, presumably choose-your-own-adventure style, the improbable rise of a D-student to the highest office in the only-land-that-matters. If it has, you may not recall Perry's take on Social Security, which he called a "Ponzi Scheme" that had been created "at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government."

As even the C students among the Friends of Unfair Park can probably figure, that's not the kind of statement that, as the Washington Post points out today, will get a guy votes "in early-primary states with large retiree populations, such as Florida and South Carolina."

Which is why, just 10 days ago, Perry's spokesman was trying to back the governor away from that less-than-measured stance on the popular program.

From the Wall Street Journal on August 18:

Since jumping into the 2012 GOP nomination race on Saturday, Mr. Perry has tempered his Social Security views. His communications director, Ray Sullivan, said Thursday that he had "never heard" the governor suggest the program was unconstitutional. Not only that, Mr. Sullivan said, but "Fed Up!" is not meant to reflect the governor's current views on how to fix the program.
Fair enough. That book came out, like, last year. Views evolve. The wind takes piss new directions. Man changes his mind, right?

Wrong. Perry, noticing that there were no adventures to choose, apparently skipped the August 18 edition of the Journal. Here he was on Saturday, during a campaign stop in Iowa:

"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," Mr. Perry told the crowd . He added during a later stop in Des Moines, "I haven't backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right."
The more Perry refuses to holster this particular weapon in his arsenal, the more kick back he's going to feel on the campaign trail, especially from Mitt Romney, the governor's second-most feared adversary, right behind his Tourette's. From that Post story
Romney strategists are quick to note that in his book, "Fed Up!," Perry writes that "By any measure, Social Security is a failure" and calls the program "something we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now" that was created "at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government."

Look at what happened to Paul Ryan when he proposed a plan to save Medicare, they say. Romney's campaign will argue that Perry is against the very idea of Social Security and Medicare, and that he will use Perry's book to scare seniors in early-primary states with large retiree populations, such as Florida and South Carolina.

You know who's gotta be fed up right about now? That Sullivan guy.

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131 comments
PickyPicky
PickyPicky

Rick Perry says stupid things?  Well, consider the source. The guy makes Forrest Gump look smart, heck, he even makes Dubya look clever by comparison.  And at least George had just enough candlepower to know he was confused:  "I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them."

dd
dd

Rick Perry is a professional, career politician. He has been a politician for 30 years, most of his adult life. He is bottom feeding now, attracting the most ignorant and scared people he can reach with his political rhetoric.He is the consummate Republican candidate. He is malleable, easily influenced and doesn't mind living in a vacuum isolated from the real world. Sounds like the last Republican president. I guess the bigger question is who will he pick for a vice president. The Pinky & The Brain routine works well for Republicans. Shrub & Darth Vader made a great dynamic duo according to Cheney's new book. Maybe a Rick Perry/Grover Norquist ticket would do the trick. Norquist's wife is from a Muslim background so they could work that angle. But, the pre-nup pledges might get complicated.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Rick Perry must not know the majority of, traveling Tea Party folk, live and travel on Social Security.

G.N. Donahue
G.N. Donahue

Japan has had 20 years of stagflation since its real estate bubble collapsed in 1991. They are much better educated and harder workers than most Americans and they still haven't got their economy "fixed" yet.  I don't think the new, post-industrial"American Idol" society we have now is really up to the task.  It's really hard to compete with industrial societies (who make most of the stuff we buy in our malls) where the average skilled worker is paid $3-5/day plus lunch.  We got of the last Great Depression of 1929-39 by deficit spending and assisting in the destruction of most of Europe and Asia's industrial capacity (our major economic rivals), then loaning them the money to buy our technology and resources to rebuild it. I don't think that's going to work now.  

Terrence Persaud
Terrence Persaud

I can't say that I've ever agreed with Conservationism ideologically. However, I used to think George Bush wasn't that bright, and that was sort of okay. I didn't totally hate him as a human being or anything.

However, Rick Perry actually makes me embarrassed to say that I'm from Texas. He is this cancerous plague on our political system. He's three genes short of stupid, revels in his ignorance, and doesn't even get facts about his own initiatives correct. I'm surprised people in Texas have jobs after this guy.

Barry
Barry

I'm wondering if you know what a ponzi scheme is? It's a "scheme" where only the people who get in early get paid, but it blows up where the payouts get to be greater than the inputs. 

Sounds like our entitlement systems to me. It wasn't intended to be a ponzi scheme; they didn't know that people were going to keep on retiring at 65 but live to 85 instead of 70.

And why will Perry's book scare seniors? It's you leftys who are scaring seniors. Perry says that young people won't see any money. Nobody anywhere is claiming that seniors won't get their benefits except for people like you.

tronboy
tronboy

The truth is stupid, or is the truth just out of style?

Anonymous
Anonymous

I'm sick of people acting like a government is, in any way, supposed to be run like a business. A business distinguishes between customers and shareholders and can make decisions that hurt one class to the benefit of the other. While the current government does tend to operate that way, that's not really the theory behind what they should do.Frankly, if you were a private company with taxing authority over the US, you'd charge marginal taxes at least 10-15 percentage points higher than what they are currently, because as much as wealthy people like to complain (and we do), 99% of us are not about to move to another country. In the private market when you have a unique good/service that people are willing to pay up for, you raise prices. 

Norris
Norris

Perry's presidential campaign slogan "Dumber than Bush"

Alecia T
Alecia T

If that's his point of view then that's his point of view.  This is what I hate about campaigning.  His people want to change or sugar coat his stance just so he can appeal to a mass market.  Then who are you voting for?  

annie
annie

Look at how all the leftists are defending social security.  My how they rush toward ANYTHING that threatens their socialist agenda.

Jeneheffer
Jeneheffer

He may be wrong on a lot of things but Perry is right on SS being a ponzi scheme!

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

He is one step closer to becoming the Republican candidate for Prez with every comment like this.  Taking away driving rights to gay black women would be a logical next step. That would give the baggers a boner.

SteveT
SteveT

Suburban idot:

Hope you're joking, becasue the loan arrangement you described is not pyramid scheme (aka "Ponzi", named after the first famous pyramid schemer); neither is Social Security.  Again, the biggest problem in the short run is the borrowing from the SS trust fund to pay for other programs since 1983.  23 of the people who voted for that borrowing bill are still in office.

TC
TC

This ignores the fact that he is right.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

Gotta love it when journalists wear their outrageous political bias on their sleeves instead of being all sneaky and subtle about it.  Lets me know who to ignore as a news source and read strictly as editorial copy.

Guest
Guest

I'm actually involved in a Ponzi Scheme right now.

I took money from an organization in a big lump sum and I agreed to pay them back over a long period of time (30 years) and pay them interest (6%, which seemed low at the time). And the thing is, I'm only able to pay these returns to this organization by taking money that I get from other sources (working) and giving it to the organization.

Clearly, I'm involved in a Ponzi Scheme.

Buckeye
Buckeye

We need a Social Security Lockbox.

Guest
Guest

I still don't see how a guy who wanted to force vaccinations on young girls, just signed a law requiring women get unwanted medical procedures when they ask for a different medical procedure, worked his ass off to take local taxing authority and local control away from school districts, and so on and so on can go on about his love for "limited government" with a straight face.

Casual Observer
Casual Observer

Forrest Gump's momma said, "stupid is as stupid does."  Looks like Forrest's momma wis smarter than Rick Perry, but that probably wouldn't take much.

phe_75034
phe_75034

Caption on the picture made me laugh out loud. No one does snark and irony as well as Wilonsky, but you've provided me a couple of giggles here, Joe. Keep up the good work!

Guest
Guest

No wonder Robert Jeffress is pushing for it to be the end times. When all those millions of senior citizens we cut off from social security start shuffling toward the churches looking for charity to keep them from starving to death, it'll look like a scene right out of Dawn of the Dead

Rooster
Rooster

""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," Mr. Perry told the crowd ."

Tone - I'm curious...what part of the statement above do you believe to be false? 

Anyone 45 or below that actually thinks they're going to collect this.....unless they are absolutely destitute.....is having a pipe dream.

I'm not, and never have been, a fan of Governor Goodhair.  I don't think he'd make a good president at all.  Hell, I don't think he'd be good at running a popsicle stand.....but in this case he's spot on.

This message may scare the crap out of the bluehairs....but it resonates loudly with the 40 and under crowd, some of whom may even begin to vote one day.

Personally, I'd much rather have a candidate speak the truth to me about social security, rather than have "insert presidential candidate here" continue to stick his dick in my ear about social security and its viability.

SteveT
SteveT

Social Security may eventually go bankrupt, but it would be in much better shape if Congress hadn't passed a law (and President Regan signed) in 1983 allowing the Treasury to borrow the funds for general spending; which it has done to the tune of $2.7 Trillion, so far (see Scott Burns' column in last Sundays Morning News).

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

What scares me about Perry is that I don't believe he is ignorant.  I think he makes deliberate decisions to cater to the most right wing part of the Republican electorate.  I think he will do anything to get elected and anything for power.  Which, if he gets elected president, will be interesting since his platform is to reduce the power of the presidency.  I can't see Rick Perry voluntarily giving up an y power, and I predict his presidency will represent the greatest intrusions on personal liberty and privacy in the history of the country.  

Barry
Barry

No they wouldn't, because if it were a business, they wouldn't keep doing the same things over and over that don't work, and they'd know that a 4% growth economy with low tax rates brings in more money that a 2.5% economy with high taxes. And they'd know that in order for poor people to have jobs; you have to allow rich people to get richer. Because until the rich are making a lot more they're not going to hire people with no skills to sit around and do nothing.

If private industry was running SS, we wouldn't have a problem Because they'd it would be run like an annuity and you'd get what you were entitled to based on how much you put in.The issue with taxing the rich isn't that they'll go to other countries (although big corporations will and do). The "rich" are more flexible; they can avoid taxes, hire accountants and hide and shift income into lower tax structures. The empirical evidence is that raising taxes doesn't raise more money; it just makes the poor feel better. The only reason they even talk about it is because democrats know that poor people who vote like to pay no tax and bash the rich. It has nothing to do with raising revenue.Governments shouldn't be run like a business; they shouldn't do things at all that are better suited to the private sector. They should just get the hell out of the way. Protect us so we can live in peace. It's not the government's job to decide who should make money and who shouldn't. People with skills will always do well and people without skills won't. And in most cases, whether you have skills or not is entirely your own choice.

Guest
Guest

Well, except that he himself has flip-flopped on the issue.

In a taped interview with a Des Moines reporter, Perry says when asked to clarify why he thinks Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional, "I never said it was 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."

This was, of course, roughly five minutes after he told a different reporter, "I haven't backed off anything in my book" after being asked about his campaign spokesperson's claim that the book wasn't meant to be Perry's current views on anything.

In the book, he chastises the government and the Supreme Court for “federal laws regulating the environment, regulating guns, protecting civil rights, establishing the massive programs and Medicare and Medicaid, creating national minimum wage laws, [and] establishing national labor laws,” and it argues that we have Social Security “at the expense of respect of the Constitution and limited government.”

So, depending on which minute you're talking to him during, he's either chastising people for even suggesting that he ever said that Social Security is unconstitutional or he's reiterating that he believes that Social Security is unconstitutional.

So we really don't know what his actual point of view is.

Observist
Observist

Pretty poor effort - just a hit-and-run name calling.  You really need to be more specific, maybe have some inflammatory examples if you want to be an effective troll.  References to either Nazis or Stalin are always good.  Keep trying!

Guest
Guest

I still consider myself a Republican, and I support Social Security, as do several heavily conservative Republicans in Congress (even Paul Ryan's plan doesn't get rid of Social Security).

I just don't want my mother or my mother-in-law thinking they can move in with me if the program they paid into for decades goes vamoose.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I seem to recall that Scott Burns had an article regarding the same last Sunday (yesterday)in the Business section of the DMN  (not that I am a fan of the DMN).   He lists the politicians that voted for this raid on SS that are still in office.    Want is needed is for all past and present politicians to fold their special government retirement programs into the Social Security System.   The rest of the government workers should join in (SS System) too.   Why have a separate and apart system for government workers-hard to compare to benefits workers receive in the private sector.

Guest
Guest

If I hadn't been joking, I would've outright mentioned that it was my mortgage I was talking about rather than just heavily implying it.

But it wasn't any more inaccurate than many of the other posts here defining Ponzi schemes since several have defined Ponzi schemes as any financial arrangement in which someone pays money with the promise of a future return and that future return is paid out of someone other source (rather than returns from investment of the original money itself).

Therefore, by the definitions supplied here, a mortgage is a Ponzi scheme.

Guest
Guest

Very right. Extreme right even.

Mott Romney
Mott Romney

Bingo!  Romney in '12.

Eh, who am I kidding...

Guest
Guest

He means he want to limit your access to Government so he can do what he wants.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh

It is pathetic to whine about teleprompters.

Guest
Guest

Fox News is over there, six doors to the far right.

Coleman
Coleman

that's why mossberg makes shotguns.

Chasd00
Chasd00

I've always considered SS just yet another tax. I don't rely on it all in my planning (i'm 35) and I advise everyone to not even think about SS being available during retirement.

scottindallas
scottindallas

what you've quoted isn't true.  I think Perry said "without changes" to be fair to him--that is more true.

annie
annie

Anyone but BO....Even Rick Perry

pak152
pak152

" I don't think he'd be good at running a popsicle stand..." but I think he would do a far better job then the current POTUS who never goes anywhere without his friend TOTUS

Guest
Guest

Miss the days when the only media was a liberal one?

Guest
Guest

To murder homeless people?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Where's the liberal media?   Where's the advocacy for single payer, for the abolition of the Death Penalty, for the reduction in police and prison populations? 

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