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But What About The Children?

By The Reverend Published: August 29, 2011

Cowpoke Governor Rick Perry on Saturday warming up the wingnuts by bashing Social Security...

“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. 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,” Perry said. “It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”

There's some dark ironic humor in what Texas Rick says about Social Security. You see, the state which Governor Rick has been in charge of for the last 10 years "ranks dead last among the U.S. states in many indicators of child well-being.....including food insecurity (children experiencing hunger), access to adequate housing and the proportion of children without health insurance."

But, if you can believe it, Texas Rick's main concern when talking about Social Security is the "young people". "We can't do that to them", the Tea Party favorite says about future Social Security recipients.....while governing a state today which is last in all of the 50 states on how it treats it's...wait for it...."young people." Self-awareness, obviously, is not one of Perry's stengths.

We've heard this bull before, during the last Republican hostage taking standoff over the debt ceiling. Oblivious Republicans pranced around like proud, brainless peacocks spouting off about how the big bad deficit just had to be dealt with right now for the sake of the.....children.

Here's the repellent Mike Pence (R-IN) with a popular GOP talking point....

" For the sake of our children and future generations, we must reject the fiscal recklessness and unsustainable path outlined in the President's budget and come together around the principles of fiscal discipline and reform and put our fiscal house in order."

Pence made that statement 2 months after having voted to increase the deficit by almost $2 trillion.....extending deficit balooning tax cuts. No comment from Pence on whether that additional $2 trillion in debt was done for the "sake of the children", you know, or not.

As Governor Perry has proven with his harsh authoritarianism down in Texas........and as Mike Pence has demonstrated with his contradictions over deficits....."for the sake of the children" really has no meaning other than to further confuse already-ignorant wingnut supporters.

But what of Perry's "Ponzi scheme" characterization of Social Security? What about Perry's assertion that Social Security "isn't going to be there for them (the children)"?

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

"Let's be clear: Social Security is not going bankrupt, nor has it contributed one dime to the federal deficit. For 75 years, through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible Americans and will continue to pay 100 percent of those benefits through 2037, according to the Social Security Board of Trustees, and until 2039, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In fact, the Social Security Trust Fund today has a $2.5 trillion dollar surplus which is projected to grow to more than $4 trillion by the year 2023."

100% of benefits paid through 2037...and that's if NOTHING is done to the program to enhance it. After 2037, Social Security would be able to pay over 80% of benefits through the end of the 21st century. Again, and that is if nothing whatsoever is done to change Social Security. Minor increases to the Social Security wage cap...currently sitting at $106,800....could easily handle any future projected shortfalls to Social Security. Naturally, this factual information places Governor Perry's claims that Social Security "is not going to be there" for the "children" the hogwash column.

But what of the "Ponzi scheme" charge? Is Social Security really a Ponzi scheme?

From Wikipedia...."A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors."

The accusation that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme suggests that current SS recipients are being paid with monies going into the program from younger workers. However, the Social Security Trust Fund is holding $2.2 trillion worth of Treasury bonds....which are worth...umm...$2.2 trillion. This means that if the federal government choose to do so, they could fund the entire Social Security program by cashing T-bills, instead of using current contributions from younger workers. That is hardly the definition of a Ponzi scheme where there is typically nothing in reserve with which to pay those at the top of the pyramid should "new" money dry up.

Leading me to the conclusion that Rick Perry is simply another Texas corporate-servant who will say anything to rile up the radical rightwing voting block. It isn't about Social Security being a Ponzi scheme.....because Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. It isn't about Social Security "not being there" for "the children"....because it will be there for the children.

It isn't the Social Security program which is a "monstrous lie", as Governor Perry claims.....instead it is Governor Perry who is a monstrous liar.



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