Is Perry Popular "Despite" Social Security Position? Or Because of It?
When he endorsed Mitt Romney today, Tim Pawlenty said that he did it in part because Rick Perry wants to "abolish" Social Security. I could be wrong, but I don't think that Perry has said that. Here's how he puts it in an op-ed for USA Today:
By 2037, retirees will only get roughly 76 cents back for every dollar that is put into Social Security unless reforms are implemented. Imagine how long a traditional retirement or investment plan could survive if it projected investors would lose 24% of their money?
I am going to be honest with the American people. Our elected leaders must have the strength to speak frankly about entitlement reform if we are to right our nation's financial course and get the USA working again.
For too long, politicians have been afraid to speak honestly about Social Security. We must have the guts to talk about its financial condition if we are to fix Social Security and make it financially viable for generations to come.
Over at The Examiner, Conn Carroll compares Perry's words with Ronald Reagan's. Not dissimilar.
National Journal writes:
Despite his controversial rhetoric on the popular government program, the Texas Republican continues to lead among his fellow Republicans.
Why "despite"? Why not "because of"? I recognize the political gambit here but I find myself much less drawn to people who equate Perry's comments on Social Security with a call to abolish the program. I also don't cotton to folks who act like Social Security and similar entitlement programs are healthy and to be commended.