Remember when Rick Perry rocketed to the top of the polls in September and decried Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme”? You might recall that a number of prominent conservative voices stepped up to support his claim. Even though many didn’t necessarily accept the characerization of Social Security as a “Ponzi Scheme,” many still spoke up in agreement that Social Security in its present form should not exist. In fact, this has long been a political objective of the right and ideologically continues to this day.
Mitt Romney, for instance, has written extensively in his book, No Apology, of the need to privatize Social Security into “individual retirement accounts.” Newt Gingrich, too, has proposed a plan to phase out Social Security and create “private retirement accounts.”
With all that said, it comes as a big surprise that in attempting to prevent President Obama and the Democrats from passing an extension of the Payroll Tax Cut with a tax on millionaires, the Republicans have stepped up as the guardians of Social Security:
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday that Republicans will put forward a measure that would renew the payroll tax cut when it expires, but also would require spending cuts that would be used to restore the lost funding to Social Security.
“We have a trust fund that we all know is going broke,” Boehner said. “.?.?.So if, in fact, you’re going to take money out of the Social Security trust fund, in our view, it has to be replaced.”
Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mi.) said he is eager to see what GOP leaders are “cooking up. “Do I want to put money into people’s pockets? Absolutely,” he said. “Am I concerned about the long-term impact this has on the social security trust fund? Absolutely.”
Republican leaders say they want to find a compromise with Democrats that would keep the payroll tax rate at 4.2 percent next year, rather than allowing it to revert to 6.2 percent — but they reject a Democratic plan to charge a surtax on people who make more than $1 million a year to pay for the tax cut.
So now we’re supposed to believe that Republicans really do like Social Security and that they are looking out for the long-term security of entitlement programs?