Ahead of the next Republican presidential debate tonight, Rick Perry is out with a softer-sounding attack on Social Security that may signal his opponents’ attacks on his Ponzi scheme rhetoric are starting to have an effect.
In a USA Today op-ed published Monday, Perry once again casts himself as the one man willing to tell the truth about the current state of the nation’s public retirement system. But he leaves his “monstrous lie” talking points at the door, preferring to discuss how he’ll keep the miserable, failed program alive for the future.
From the op-ed:
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.
Perry’s opponents — specifically Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann — are strongly suggesting that Perry wants to eliminate Social Security completely (which, admittedly, is an easy suggestion to make after reading Perry’s book, which calls Social Security “‘by far the best example’ of a program ‘violently tossing aside any respect for our founding principles,’” as Matt Yglesias cataloged.)
But in the op-ed, which could telegraph new language from Perry on the topic at the debate tonight, the Texas governor says he’s just trying to figure out how to preserve Social Secuirty, not destroy it. And don’t worry, current retirees — you don’t need to be a part of it.
Americans must come together and agree to address the problems so today’s beneficiaries and tomorrow’s retirees really can count on Social Security for the long haul.
We must have a frank, honest national conversation about fixing Social Security to protect benefits for those at or near retirement while keeping faith with younger generations, who are being asked to pay.