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Rick Perry grabs a third rail

I don’t think Rick Perry cares if anyone questions his logic; intellectual robustness is not part of Perry’s brand. Perry does want to privatize Social Security, critics be damned. Wall Street loves such talk after all, and they have money to contribute to Perry’s campaign.

Hold on, cowboy
Hold on, cowboy

I don’t think Rick Perry cares if anyone questions his logic; intellectual robustness is not part of Perry’s brand. Perry does want to privatize Social Security, critics be damned. Wall Street loves such talk after all, and they have money to contribute to Perry’s campaign.

Clarence Page writes, in part, about Perry’s equation of Social Security with a Ponzi scheme:

A real Ponzi scheme, for example, is an elaborate con game named after Charles Ponzi, who served time in the 1920s for operating one. Funds from unwitting new investors are used to pay phony dividends to old ones, which attracts newer investors. The scam collapses when it runs out of new suckers. Think Bernard Madoff.

In fact, memories of the convicted Madoff, a respected Wall Street figure until his fund turned out to be a multibillion-dollar Ponzi, give pause to many at the very notion of trusting even more of the nation’s retirement funds to Wall Street. At least with Social Security everybody is in on what the scheme is really about.

Before we talk about reducing what Social Security does, we need to talk more about why this New Deal-era program is so popular: It lifts 13 million elderly Americans out of poverty, according to the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, either as an income supplement or as sole retirement income. Without Social Security, the Washington-based center found, almost half of the elderly — 48 percent — would fall below the government’s poverty line, instead of the current 8 percent.

And more than 3 million children received benefits as dependents of retired, disabled or deceased workers, the center found, or by living with parents or relatives who received Social Security benefits.

Social Security is currently solvent until 2037, according to the Congressional Research Service. And it would remain solvent for decades after that, the CRS says, with such simple adjustments as lifting the caps that exempt upper-income earnings from the payroll tax.

(click here to continue reading Rick Perry grabs a ‘third rail’ – chicagotribune.com.)

Another reason why Rick Perry is not really a Christian, no? Aren’t Christians supposed to help the poor and elderly? Not kick them to the curb so that bankers can make obscene profits?

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