Perry Calls Social Security a 'Ponzi Scheme'—Again

But, he insists, he has never said it's unconstitutional

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 29, 2011 8:38 AM CDT

(Newser) – Though Rick Perry’s aides have been disavowing some of the views expressed in his nine-month-old book Fed Up!, the presidential candidate himself doesn’t seem to be doing the same. In Iowa on Saturday, Perry reiterated the opinion stated in his book that Social Security “is a Ponzi scheme for these young people,” the Houston Chronicle reports. Specifically, “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,” he said. “It is a monstrous lie.”

He explained that while he’s not proposing changes to the program for those near eligibility, changes for others must be considered. (“Does Warren Buffet need to get Social Security?” he pointed out. “Maybe not.”) Later, he got even more explicit with one reporter: “I haven't backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right.” Radio Iowa adds, however, that when another reporter asked if Perry thinks Medicare is “unconstitutional,” he responded, “I never said it was unconstitutional. … Those that have said I’ve said [Medicare and Social Security are] unconstitutional—I’m going to have them read the book. That’s not what I said.” Writes Maggie Haberman on Politico, "The whole episode underscores how difficult Fed Up! ... will be for Perry to explain on the trail."

In this Nov. 8, 2010, file photo, Republican presidential hopeful, Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks about his new book during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, in Washington.
In this Nov. 8, 2010, file photo, Republican presidential hopeful, Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks about his new book during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
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