Perry calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme

Aug. 29, 2011 at 4:20 PM
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DES MOINES, Iowa, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Republican presidential hopeful Texas Gov. Rick Perry won't back down from stating he believes Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" for young people.

During a weekend campaign stump in Iowan, Perry said Social Security deceives young workers because the federal program won't be around when they're ready to retire, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people," Perry said at a stop Sunday in Ottumwa. "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."

Later in Des Moines, Perry also took on his own campaign's efforts to soften his position on Social Security and other issues he discusses in his book, "Fed Up!"

"I haven't backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right," he said.

Perry also attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, calling his actions "treasonous," said the theory of evolution is "out there," and suggested Texas should secede from the United States -- all over-the top comments that helped cement his popularity in the Lone Star state but has some observers wondering how they'll play on the campaign trail.

Supporters of Social Security say the program is a general benefit, so funding it through a general tax on employees and employers is proper, the Times said, Opponents, such as Perry, view the entitlement program as using one generation of taxpayers to pay for an older generation, similar to a Ponzi scheme in which contributions from unsuspecting new members of a faux investing pool are used to pay promised profits to earlier investors.

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