GOP debate: Perry’s claims about social security ‘just wrong’

Here and Now

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Last night, Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the fourth GOP debate this year. All eight candidates are vying for their party’s nomination for the 2012 election.

One of the biggest moments from the debate was a comment from Texas Governor Rick Perry about Social Security:

“It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today, you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it’’s not right,” Perry said.

The New York Times and others report that Perry’s comments were misleading and that “Government projections have Social Security exhausting its reserves by 2037, absent any changes, but show that the payroll tax revenues coming in would cover more than three-quarters of benefits to recipients then.”

Howard Gleckman is resident fellow at the Urban Institute, editor of the blog TaxVox, and author of “Caring for Our Parents,” a book on delivering and financing long-term care to seniors and adults with disabilities. He agrees that Perry’s comments were misleading.

“When Governor Perry said there’s no money there for 25- to 30-year-olds, he was just wrong. He’s perpetuating a myth that conservatives have been talking about for years, and it just isn’t true,” Gleckman told Here & Now’s Robin Young.

If no changes are made to social security, according to Gleckman, those who retire will still “get 3/4 of what’s been promised.”


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