If we can’t accept the truth, then it really is over

One of the reasons I’m attracted to Rick Perry as a candidate is because he’s willing to call a spade a broke-Ponzi-scheme spade on Social Security. I find it intriguing that Romney’s minions have already declared Perry KIA over this tonight, let alone that Mitt spent precious debate time defending the Social Security status quo. We need to be the party to protect it? WTH?

Hey, Mitt: no one is proposing taking food out of old folks’ mouths, you jackass. (Apologies, I’ve officially lost my patience with his retread-running for President, RINO, Social Security is the bestest thing EVER pansying).

Watch. What do you think? Are we willing to have the grown-up conversations on entitlements, including the “third-rail” of politics?


Allahpundit comments:

this clip is less an argument about entitlements than a proxy for the eternal “electability vs. principle” conundrum. Perry’s shooting straight to polish his fiscal conservative bona fides and Romney’s angling towards the center so that he can make the “only I can attract independents” case to undecided primary voters when the time comes.

Perry is Obama’s worst nightmare.

AM UPDATE: Pundette feels the same way and points to this column by John Podhoretz:

The real controversy arose from his decision not to run from the attack he launched on Social Security in his 2010 book “Fed Up,” but rather to say that politicians need to be honest about the Ponzi-scheme nature of the old-age pension system.

Romney immediately responded: “You can’t say that” about a system on which so many people depend. Perry answered that it is a Ponzi scheme and we have to stop lying to people in their 20s that all the money they are paying into the system will be there when they retire.

He’s right — it is a Ponzi scheme. The challenge for Romney now will be making the case to primary voters that it will be fatal for the GOP’s shot at denying Barack Obama a second term to have a candidate who calls it a Ponzi scheme. He’ll have a strong case to make.

But there is something striking in the contrast between the two men. Romney looks like a casting director’s idea of a president, and after running for the office for four years solid now, he has an enviable fluency and command of the stage.

Alas for him, there’s a reason he was unable to solidify his own status as a front-runner: He just doesn’t seem to have “it” — that elusive quality populist politicians who find a connection with ordinary voters seem to possess.

Whatever his failings, and they may well be vast, Perry does have “it.” In terms of sheer presence, he diminished Romney and everybody else on stage last night — and he left Michele Bachmann, his only real rival for the Tea Party vote, in the dust.

This means war, y’all. If–even in the face of crushing debt–Mitt Romney can’t own up to the truth of entitlement spending, then that’s it. I didn’t like him before. I loathe him now. We are poised on the cusp of financial disaster for generations to come, and if the finance wiz kid on stage can’t be persuaded to fight for the real deal, then no one ever will. Lucky for us Rick Perry was up there, too.



5 Responses

  1. It is a ponzi scheme, but – and a big but – society has organized itself around this program. You can’t eliminate it without serious social impact. People depend on it, and no matter how many times you tell them it won’t affect people over 55, it doesn’t work. They don’t care. I’ve never liked S.S., and I’ve always wanted to opt out. But that’s not going to happen, and at nearly 50 years old, i need it in the near future. Republicans have gone down this road several times and gotten our behinds kicked. President Bush had a mild tweak to S.S. which I whole heartedly supported, and he got raked over the coals. Perry’s language is good red meat for conservatives, but it will do nothing to change it. Romney’s approach is sounder and prudent. Call me an old timer, but red meat for the sake of red meat turns me off.

    • Manny, I don’t think it’s red meat for the sake of it. He wrote the book without thinking he would ever run. Now he is and the wizards of smart on our side say it’s an albatross. I want to see a specific proposal, and if its the Ryan plan, fine. And make the cutoff 40 if necessary. But we have to embrace substantive reform. And if not now, we’re headed off the cliff sooner rather than later.

      • I don’t know if it’s an albatross. Perry may and probably will be elected if he wins the nomination. The problem is then in passing meaningful legislation that changes S.S.. Any such legislation has got to be bi-partesan. Shoving it down the people’s throats, even if we could, would be just like Obama and his healthcare. It wouldn’t stand. By framing the argument this way, he will never get Dems to go along with anything meaningful.

  2. The problem is that even though Perry is correct, it scares people. People for some reason that I cannot understand, don’t see the difference between saying a 20 year old won’t have social security and taking food out of grandma’s mouth.

    I have explained this over and over to my mother and she doesn’t get it. Of course she is democratic leaning, but still. She gets herself into a real tizzy over this kind of talk.

    She came from the generation before 401(k)’s and does need SS to live on. She didn’t start saving for her retirement until her fifities. Luckily my parents had real estate, so she is no danger of ending up on the street, but it still scares her. Her other monthly income alone is not enough to live on.

  3. You are completely correct!

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