Michael Hiltzik: Why Rick Perry’s stance on Social Security doesn’t make sense
Misinformed and mendacious attacks on Social Security have become such familiar conservative shibboleths that it can be hard to muster the energy to beat them down anymore.
Then along comes Rick Perry, the Texas governor. He’s suggested that it’s unconstitutional (a notion the Supreme Court disposed of in 1937) and after announcing his candidacy he called it a “monstrous lie.”
Perry’s solution is to return the sponsorship of government retirement programs to the states, which he insists can handle the job better than the federal government.
As evidence he points to an alternative retirement plan set up by Galveston and two other Texas counties in the early 1980s, when they withdrew their employees from Social Security. (Congress later closed the loophole that allowed localities to do so.)
“Employees in those plans are reaping the benefits,” Perry says in his 2010 book “Fed Up.”