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Once again, the Texas-governor-who-wants-to-be-your-president is flitting hither, tither, and yon [Perry Tale Theme] spreading little “Perry Tales” about his record.
This time, the right-wing sprite is sprinkling fresh fairy dust on his earlier screed against America’s Social Security program. During the past couple of years, in the heat of his lusty romance of the rowdy tea party crowd, Perry has wooed and wowed those who hate government, offering passionate denunciations of Social Security as “a Ponzi scheme,” “a monstrous lie,” and a “failure.” The national retirement program, he thunders, violates the Constitution’s “principles of federalism and limited government.” His unequivocal message was: Kill it!
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But – oops – now in hot pursuit of the GOP presidential nomination, he’s learned that even most Republicans wince at his macho wackiness on a social program they support and millions are using. A CNN poll in August finds that 57 percent of Republicans want no major changes in Social Security. Why? Because, despite the Ponzi-scheme Perry Tale, it works.
So, the red-meat tea partier who would savage the program has suddenly turned into a senior-hugger, offering a revised, gentler Perry Tale. In this one, he never, ever meant to abolish Social Security. Nay, Perry now says with a pixie twinkle, he only wants to stimulate “a legitimate conversation in this country about how to fix that program.”
If you’re not sure what “fix” means, ask your dog.
Perry might heed the blunt words of another Republican, Dwight Eisenhower: “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security… you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believe you can [abolish it]… Their number is negligible, and they are stupid.”
“Social Insecurity,” www.snopes.com, 2005.
“Perry and Social Security,” September 10. 2011.
“Perry talks Social Security, candidates at California event,” Austin American Statesman, September 9, 2011.
“After Debate Night, Pondering Election Night,” September 9, 2011.