From this account of last week’s Republican debate:
“Perry offered a full-throated defense of some of his more provocative statements on the campaign trail, including his statement that Social Security is a ‘Ponzi scheme’ . . . the Texas governor repeated his position that it’s a ‘monstrous lie’ for any candidate to say Social Security will be around for younger people. Acknowledging that Republicans have regarded the statement as controversial, Perry insisted it was perhaps it was time to have straight talk from a candidate.
‘Maybe it’s time to have some provocative language in this country,’ he insisted.”
Romney’s reaction: “You say that by any measure Social Security is a failure. You can’t say that to tens of millions of Americans who live on Social Security . . . Our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security, but who is committed to saving Social Security. I will make sure that we keep the program and make it financially secure.”
Sure he will.
Social Security isn’t a ponzi scheme, its an airplane with dead engines. And we’re all passengers. You can’t fix it midair. The only question is: can you manage a controlled glide to land it, or will you try to keep it in the air indefinitely and guarantee a disaster? Don’t forget that plane’s getting heavier – there are more of us passengers every year.
People who are near, at, or past ‘retirement’ age (which the government gets to choose for us) have been paying in all their lives, and many of them are probably counting on Social Security as part of their income. It would be awful to yank that away from them. But Romney is accusing Perry of wanting just that. That’s dishonest.
Will that retirement age still be the same when I get there? Assuming I haven’t died in a zombie infestation or extraterrestrial attack? I bet it won’t be. And it shouldn’t be. And that’s assuming Social Security will exist at all by that time. Will it? Romney (along with many, many others) is trying to tell me that I should count on it. I would be a fool to do so.
I have also paid into the system my entire working life, and I will (involuntarily) continue to pay. And I do not expect to ever collect any of the benefits that I’m being promised. One way or another, they’re not going to be there. I need to plan to take care of myself without the government’s “help”, and so do you.
I want a candidate who understands that, and who is willing to say so. Advantage: Perry.