In the Republican debate last night, Rick Perry once again characterized Social Security as a giant “Ponzi scheme,” the meme for conservative idiots which doesn’t seem to stop. It is not diverted by facts, statistics or even an intermittant sense of reality. Of course Rick Perry is not strong on reality. He must be floating in his little pink cloud of self professed blessedness which he revealed when he told us that God had let him know somehow that he “wanted” Perry to run for president. I don’t try to speak for God myself, but if I did I have to tell you I know God has a lot more intelligence than to put this or any other nation in the hands of a man like Rick Perry. As to Perry’s “Ponzi scheme” rap, no lesser conservative light than Karl Rove said, “…they (Perry’s remarks) are toxic in a general election environment and they are also toxic in a Republican primary.”
This comes from a post on the blog Crooks And Liars at
Karl Rove: Rick Perry’s Views On Social Security Are Toxic.
It is quite clear to Karl, as well as others in the higher echelons of the Republican Party, that this view runs against the view of the vast majority of Americans, even those who profess themselves to be Teabaggers. Fortunately for most of us, the Republican candidates feel they have to appeal to the insane far right edge of the party to get nominated.
Good shot Karl, coming from the Wizard of Bush himself, hiding behind the curtain to conceal how small and inadeqate he really is, His observation supposedly will trickle down to “if I only had a brain” Perry, the Scarecrow in this Republican fable. On this blog, We have written about the Ponzi scheme meme a while ago. Please consult our article Big Lie #2 — Social Security Is A Giant Ponzi Scheme ; I’ll Never Get My Money Back.
Nothing has changed. Here is a Venn diagram which a blogger named Nick Baumann at Mother Jones made to demonstrate all the ways Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme. It explains the difference between Rick Perry’s sour wet dream and the reality of Social Security as it exists and has always existed.
His article which accompanies the diagram may be read at A Venn Diagram for Rick Perry: Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme
In his article he links to a document at Social Security Online, Research Note #25: Ponzi Schemes vs. Social Security, which provides information about Charles Ponzi, whose name has become synonymous with a certain kind of scam, how Ponzi schemes work, and why Social Security is not one.
Now for another bit of innovation from Rick Perry. There are wildfires raging in Texas. Many, many people have lost homes and businesses. The fires have been buring for months out of control with the Texas firefighters and firefighters imported from other states to help unable to get ahead of then. True, there has been a terrible drought in Texas but that is not the whole story.
In a recent article by Lucia Graves and Jason Cherkis in The Huffington Post at Rick Perry’s Budget Leaves Texans In Bind Amidst Historic Wildfires, they wrote:
Back in May, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed a budget presented by the state legislature that cut funding for the state agency in charge of combating such blazes. The Texas Forest Service’s funding was sliced from $117.7 million to $83 million. More devastating cuts hit the assistance grants to volunteer fire departments around the state. Those grants were slashed 55 percent from $30 million per year in 2010 and 2011 to $13.5 million per year in 2012 and 2013. Those cuts are effective now.
Texas state Sen. Mario Gallegos, who worked for 22 years in the Houston fire department, noted that outside major cities like Houston and Dallas, volunteer firefighters are the backbone of the Texas firefighting force. “Out in the suburbs and in the woods, we have to count on our volunteers,” he said.
The volunteer firefighters are the first responders for brush fires and wild fires in rural Texas (which is most of the state.) It follows that if you make a cut that big you are going to be losing personnel. Maybe those missing firefighters could have gotten a quicker handle on the fires before they raged so out of control that other firemen had to come to Texas from their own financially strapped states to help the people of Texas. Who knows for sure but I think it is a safe conclusion.
Notice how quick Rick Perry has been to accept help from the public workers from other states while trying to eliminate public workers in his own, and how he has said nothing about paying back the other states who have sent help. FEMA is also there, even though Perry is one of the teabaggers who is so big on the idea that the victims of natural disasters should not receive federal help. I guess he must have completely forgotten his personal oath of teabagger aid abstinence, or maybe he is remembering the teabagger need to save his own ass which seems to be bared to the elements.
Kind of makes you think of the word hypocrisy, doesn’t it? We aren’t the only ones who noticed this. Writer Jim Hightower did too. Please see his article at alternet.org entitled How Rick Perry Has Been on the Public Dole His Whole Life — When this taxpayer-supported lifer flits into your town to declare that he will slash public benefits, he means in your life, not his.
I do not begrudge the people of Texas the help they are getting. Potluck and I live in a state where wildfires are common, and they are devastating. The difference is, our governor, who is a reasonable Democrat, maintains a robust public employee sector with union benefits. He sat down himself with the unions and they talked until they had reached an agreement which both sides could live with to cut costs without too much hardship on either the workers or the citizens of the state who depend on them. He also seems to be able to see the relationship between a strong, quick response by first responders rather than trying to cut their numbers and hope that maybe God will provide somehow or maybe nothing will happen after all.
Of course that presupposes that Rick Perry thought this out at all, which I am not convinced of. I don’t think that any of the teabaggers are strong on thought or logic. They are not particularly good at the action, reaction series of events which occurs in nature or everywhere else. We as individuals are going to have to become much more political, if we are going to survive. Just ask anyone in Texas who is staring at the burned wreckage where his house used to be.