Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Rick Perry's "Ponzi Scheme" Remark

"The more interesting issue raised by this historical investigation may be the fate of the Democratic party and the media. Where today are the liberal and centrist Democrats who only yesterday called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and supported bold reforms? Where now are the columnists and editors at Newsweek and the New York Times willing to reward truth-tellers and to criticize reporters who cover for cowardly politicians?"
That's Stanley Kurtz concluding his short history of the term "Ponzi scheme" as a description of the U.S. government's Social Security program following remarks by governor Perry in the recent September 7th Republican debate at the Reagan library.

I watched that debate and I thought all of the candidates came across as partially retarded, bumbling sociopaths to some degree - Ron Paul in particular, was an embarassment. He couldn't stand still, couldn't keep his sentences and cadences under control and, even though I agree with much of what he says (e.g. legalization of drugs, abolition of the Fed), his arguments were expressed as the piss-poor ramblings of an incontinent old man.

There are two almost-interesting points about Perry.

The first is that he seems to have an Autocratic streak in him as the vaccination thing indicates - but that is an expected, if not a defining characteristic, in all politicians. There is never any question of being able to trust any of them.

The second point however, and the one which served as the departure point for Kurtz's essay, is that Perry marked himself out from the debate by calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and refusing to back down on this. If you are aware of the relative demographic decline in the U.S. for the last three decades, not to mention the economic depression the U.S. is in, then you will have to concede that the charge is true. Perry has been getting bravery points for this, but I think they are cheap. I would have attacked the premises on which Social Security rests, rather than the mere fact its' "enabling assumptions" have been eroded.

As to the rest of the candidates...

Cain speaks clearly and with conviction, Bachmann is gaffe-prone and though she may have the will, I doubt she'd have the wits to get rid of Obamacare. Romney is just another middle of the road Pragmatist and Gingrich is only there to thwart the despicable quisling Huntsman.

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