Rick Perry backs off his characterization of Social Security as a ‘Ponzi scheme’
In his book “Fed Up!,” Rick Perry called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and said it was unconstitutional, but now that he’s got his eye on the White House, Perry and his campaign are distancing from those statements.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Perry’s communications director, Ray Sullivan, had “never heard” of Perry’s views on Social Security and said that the book, which was released last November, was written “as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses, not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto.” Perry has been telling audiences in Iowa and New Hampshire to read the book.
In the book, he calls Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” that was enacted by FDR “at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government.”
He despises the New Deal, noting that the “era represents the second big step in the march of socialism and was the key to releasing the remaining constraints on the national government’s power grab in American history … FDR tried to change the way that citizens interacted with their government.”
The Supreme Court has [ruled](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)#The_Supreme_Court_and_the_evolution_of_Social_Security) the program constitutional, and Perry now says he wants benefits for current beneficiaries and those about to retire “strongly protected,” and he said his aim is to make seek a program that is “fiscally responsible and actuarially sound.”