Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Limbaugh: Lazy or Lying About Romney & Social Security?

It’s painful to see Rush Limbaugh, either grossly misinformed or lying out his ample caboose, perpetuating this great lie against GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
“Romney’s worried that Ponzi scheme scares seniors, but he’s not worried that Romneycare scares Republicans. I’m gonna tell you something: In a comparison to those two, Romneycare scares Republicans far more than Ponzi scheme scares senior citizens. This is where political instincts come into play. Romney’s defending the indefensible, which is Romneycare; and he’s attacking the concept of reforming Social Security because he’s saying (paraphrased), “Don’t even bring it up! We can’t win elections by talking about Social Security.” This is not, by the way (I continue to stress here) a pro-Perry comment right now. I haven’t endorsed anybody. Don’t want anybody to misunderstand here. I just think Romney needs to step back and take a look at these issues through a conservative lens.”

Now there are several things very wrong and inaccurate with this statement and line of thinking. It illustrates the illogic or outright intellectual dishonesty of this entire Perry/SS storyline, being spun by many Conservative spinners.

1) Perry wrote in his book that SS was a failure, unconstitutional, should be returned to the states, etc. He put them out there as his own, candid and rock solid opinions.

2) Perry as we know, doubled down on his statements in the first debate, saying the program is a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie.”

3) Semantics aside, the program in the end is an underfunded pension plan, which needs actuarial and contributory reforms. Its problems stem primarily from changes in the populace (longevity and birth rates) as well as the extra benefits the program has opted to pay out.

4) Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News jumped on the Perry bandwagon early, before he was tested. After blundering his way into the SS swamp, they were forced to demonize the program, rather than Perry’s political tone deafness.

5) Romney has NEVER said “Don’t bring up SS.” That’s an outright lie on the part of Limbaugh. Romney is on record, through his book and numerous media interviews, speaking abut the program, its problems and solutions.

6) Romney is not “attacking the idea of reforming SS” – Another lie. Romney has discussed the need for reform – read his book. (It might be a challenge for some Perry supporters as it has no pictures or large print.) Romney lays out several methods for reforming the program, many of which Perry is trying to co=opt in his mega walk back.

What Romney is attacking is the idea of Perry’s direct, unmistakable and politically inept language. Trashing the Social Security program is simply not good politics.  To trash a program so many people - Conservatives, Liberals, Independents and even political agnostics - depend on, in such an overly heavy handed manner, smacks of right wing political pandering of the laziest sort. It allows political opponents an opportunity to trash you as extreme. Not something you need when you already have a questionable image as a swaggering ignoramus.

In addition, Perry’s contention anyone engaged in telling the younger generation Social Security is fine as is, and is lying to them. Well that’s true, but there is one glaring problem with calling this brave and truthful talk: No one in the GOP is saying SS is fine in its current state. So who is Perry alluding to with these very narrow and charges? I’ll be damned if he knows, but it sure sounds like something Tea Partiers would like to hear.

By applauding Perry’s asinine statements, Limbaugh is deliberately twisting words and meanings on this issue in order to save the Texas Gov’s butt after he blew up in the first debate. Perry jumped into this hole by himself. Rather than explain away his words and provide political cover, Rush and other right-wing pundits should be pressing him to explain his remarks. Instead, to see how frantic the Limbaughs of the world are to salvage Perry is a true indication of how harmful his statements were. They need to keep Romney at bay and allow Perry time to recover. These statements were so harmful to Perry, he was forced to pen an op-ed in USA Today Monday, outlining a way to reform this “Ponzi Scheme.”

The first question Governor Perry should be asked at the next debate is, “Why do you want to save and reform a criminal, unconstitutional scheme.” No doubt the monosyllabic answer will be most illuminating.


Anonymous said...

Great article, Doug! Shared on facebook.

Anonymous said...

previous comment by MikeZ!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Doug. Rush is doing exactly what you have said he is. I found it interesting that today, toward the very end of the show, he "found" the time to bring up and play the interchange between Bachmann and Perry re: the Gardisil/Merck issue. He actually downplayed the whole thing, making excuses for Perry; feeling sorry for him that he had to "answer every question like 3 or 4 times". Oh poor Perry. Ask Mitt what it's like to get pounded daily about an issue (Romneycare) you've already explained every way possible, but it's still not good enough. Rush doesn't have to say he's endorsing Perry, it's clear he is w/o ever hearing him utter the words. Here's the link to Rush's website: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_091311/content/01125108.guest.html

Anonymous said...

I heard Perry and Limbaugh are involved in a crony capitalism together. Careful. Love that last paragraph! :)

Ohio JOE said...

Just like the overwelming majority of Conservatives, Mr. Limbaugh can see that this is a Ponzi scheme. Mr. Romney made a tactical error by contradicting this.

Ohio JOE said...

By John Stossel

Ponzi! Ponzi! Ponzi! There, I said it. To the extent people believe there are trust funds with their names on them, Social Security is absolutely a Ponzi scheme. So is Medicare. People need to hear it.

Many people think that when the government takes payroll tax from their paychecks, it goes to something like a savings account. Seniors who collect Social Security think they're just getting back money that they put into their "account." Or they think it's like an insurance policy -- you win if you live long enough to get more than you paid in. Neither is true. Nothing is invested. The money taken from you was spent by government that year. Right away. There's no trust fund. The plan is unsustainable. Medicare is worse.

Mitt Romney and other Republicans who scoff at Rick Perry shamelessly pander to older voters. They should tell people the truth.

Doug NYC GOP said...


Again, the Ponzi Scheme description is being used to described perceptions about the plan and the management of the plan ( funding and Congress using the money). At best, it riles Conservatives and at worst, it scares almost everyone. It's stupid, sloppy pandering.

Then this idea that Perry is being "honest" in telling people the plan is underfunded is also lame. Not one GOP candidate is asserting SS if fine as it is, especially Romney.

Mr. Perry, in an nice display of his inadequate reading comprhension abilities, even gets Romney's view of what is going on with SS wrong.

Romney didn't call SS crimminal as Perry said, but the act of Congess using those funds is. Pretty simple, it is a shame Pery can't grasp that.

I can't believe you don't see the differences in this issue. It must be your need to rally around the anti-Romney as much as possible, despite the illogic.

Ellie said...

both. Lazy AND Lying.

Ohio JOE said...

"Not one GOP candidate is asserting SS if fine as it is, especially Romney." To a point that is so, but with respect, talk of defending SS is not exactly music to the hears of Conservatives.

Yes, SS is poorly run, but in part because of demographics, the system in and of itself is essentially a ponzi scheme. I do not think that a Life Insurance company would be allow to operate like this.

In part, many of you are scared that Seniors and Independents do not like the word Ponzi. However, Ponzi is a good word and I have faith in the American people that they can embrace truth. I maybe a little naive in having so much faith in the American people, but we need to have that faith if we are going to fix things.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand to hear Rush explaining away Perry's immigration problems and his inability to stay focused for more than an hour in a debate. So, after talking about Perry's weaknesses, Rush then proceeds to blast Romney about MASScare. It was his only way to counter balance the stuff that Rick Perry has done that he can't explain away. I am a Republican and MASScare does NOT scare me. There are plenty of us who realize that what is most frightening is the mandate that we will pay for everyone's health care when they show up at the emergency room; that scares me to death!

I also think that we will not help ourselves with Seniors by using "ponzi scheme" and "monstrous lie" type of communications. There are better ways to express ourselves without making it harder to reform SS. Seniors outnumber the rest of us, which is partly why we have the problem in the first place! They didn't have enough children to support them in their old age. People who think we "must tell the people the truth" don't understand that it is possible to tell the truth without using crude--yes, I said crude--language. Remember that Mitt is 63 and is closer in age to Seniors; I bet he has a better idea how to speak to them than some others.


Pablo said...

I am not sure why some of you still don't believe me when I say that Rush Limbaugh could not give a flying crap about the conservative movement. He WANTS Republicans to lose, so he can continued to make more money off of brainwashing people like OJ. That is what he does. If Romney wins, then Rush's brand of idiocy will be discredited. And he won't be able to create fear over Obama for the next four years.

Anonymous said...

We do not need another career politician in the White House like Perry period!!. Also for that matter a lawyer. We need the most brilliant business man in north America MITT ROMNEY. He also is a true Patriot..

Joseph Dooley said...

Look beyond Monday's debate. Romney is out there lying about Perry's stance on Social Security. He's saying that Perry wants to end Social Security. Well, they both do, insofar as they want to reform it. There is basically no substantive difference here. Romney can't have it both ways.

The only difference between them is tone: Romney says, "I love Social Security, so I want to reform it." Perry says: "I hate Social Security, so I want to reform it."

Anonymous said...

For me the state run individual mandate is becoming a conservative litmus test: if you reject it is likely you misunderstand federalism (states are very different from the union, statists don't understand this), take overly absolutist views on issues (no mandates ever!), have flip-flopped due to political expediency (It was originally a conservative idea), limited intellecutal capacity (I can't admit this because then I have to think of new ways to attack Obamacare), etc. For Rush to say this ticks me off. Perry and Romney's SS positions are not that different now -- reform a poorly run system. Romney has been saying that from the beginning; Perry ("the swaggering ignoramus") started off using overly dramatic inflamatory language that was very loaded and is now having to do the "mega walk back." He is trying to throw red meat while simultaneously claiming that it doesn't mean what it means. To claim to be "talkin' straight" on SS is astounding. Its all rhetoric for him!