Early into the CNN "Tea Party" debate in Florida, we got treated to round three of Gov. Rick Perry vs Gov. Mitt Romney and Perry's "Ponzi scheme" remarks and the two throwing some barbs back and forth on the issue. I don't take any comfort in either of their remarks because they amount to the same thing. They both want to "reform" the system for younger people which is nothing but code for privatizing it and turning the system over to Wall Street.
Here's how Perry started off when asked about his remarks in the prior debate.
PERRY: Well, first off, the people who are on Social Security today need to understand something: slam dunk guaranteed, that program is going to be there in place for those. Those individuals that are moving towards being on Social Security, that program’s going to be there for them when they arrive there.
But the idea that we have not had the courage to stand up and look Americans in the face, young mid-career professionals or kids that are my children’s age and look them in the eye and said, listen, this is a broken system.
It has been called a "Ponzi scheme" by many people long before me. But no one’s had the courage to stand up and say, here is how we’re going to reform it, we're going to transform it for those in those mid-career ages. But we're going to fix it so our young Americans that are going out into the workforce today will know without a doubt that there were some people who came along that didn't lie to them, that didn't try to go around the edges and told them the truth.
I've got one name for Perry if he thinks no one's ever had "the courage" to talk about "reforming" Social Security -- George W. Bush -- and we saw how well that tour of his trying to talk the American people into changing the system worked out for him.
When asked if he thought Gov. Perry could beat President Obama after his statements on Social Security, Mitt Romney responded by saying that even though a lot of people might agree with what Perry said, the term Ponzi scheme might be a bit over the top and his real issues are with what he wrote in his book, calling Social Security unconstitutional that the federal government shouldn't be involved in and that it should be given back to the states.
After some back and forth on who is actually the one scaring seniors and both of them talking about how they want to "reform" the system for younger people, Perry got one last shot in on Romney for also calling Social Security criminal and quoted Romney as writing "if people did it in the private sector, it would be called criminal. That's in your book."
Romney shot back and said what he actually wrote was that Congress taking money out of the trust fund was like "like criminal" and said "it is and it's wrong." So in other words, Romney thinks borrowing against the trust fund and issuing T-Bills is a "criminal" act. I guess he might want to let everyone holding them as investments know that.
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