John King, USA

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September 12th, 2011
01:14 PM ET

Biden discounts Perry's 'Ponzi scheme' remark on Social Security

(CNN) – Responding to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's labeling of Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," Vice President Joe Biden said in a CNN interview the governor needed to check his facts.

"He should go back and find out who Ponzi was," Biden told CNN's John King in an exclusive interview to air Monday night. "It was an individual in a different deal, but no it's not a Ponzi scheme. It is secure through 2036 and to fix is not hard."

On Monday, Sept. 12th, CNN will broadcast the "Tea Party Republican Debate," live from Tampa, Florida at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Perry made the comment in his first GOP presidential debate Wednesday in California, saying it's a "monstrous lie" to tell younger generations that they will benefit from the system when they retire. He'd previously devoted a passage in his book, "Fed Up," to Social Security, criticizing the system and calling it a "Ponzi scheme."

It has since fueled a fire among the Republican presidential hopefuls, with many of them coming out against Perry's comment and trying to position themselves as pro-Social Security candidates.

Watch the full interview with Biden on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on CNN's "John King, USA."

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mr. Wonderful

    Biden is a caricature of a politician. OF COURSE it's a Ponzi scheme. You have people being paid from the contributions of the last in; just like...well...a Ponzi scheme.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  2. Allen Black

    A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.
    The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities.

    September 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Allen Black

    sounds like a ponzi scheme to me

    September 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  4. Gary H

    How many times in one day can you repeat the same comment inncorrectly. Gov Perry in the last debate did not say he would end Social Security. He said it was a Ponzi scheme, it is because the Washington insiders have turned it in to one! Cnn has said that Social Security would run out of money in 25 years. Gov Perry said if you are 25 or 30 years old it would not be there for you based on where it is today. HMMM lets see if I am 25 or 30 how old will I be in 25 years? Not old enough to draw Social Security and if they don't fix it will be gone when I am! Joe Biden saying its an easy fix....then why hasent he fixed it??? He's the VP and a long time Senator, I can tell you why. He is part of the problem. He is clueless like CNN you miss report what is going on. Those of us who are paying attention see how silly you are.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  5. joshua

    everyone knows it's a pyramid scheme. it worked when the payin was 140 to 1. the bad thing is that obama and his family all have social security numbers and will be able to draw on social security even though they are here illegally. there will be americans who will probably lose part of their social security because of the fraud and waste that goes on with the administration. we need to "drain the swamp" of the corruption taking place in broad daylight without any investigative reporters looking into the matter. we have come to expect that if it's a liberal, the main stream media will look the other way.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  6. Rob R

    While there may be some similarities to a Ponzi scheme, ultimately it is not. First, a Ponzi scheme is first and foremost designed to be a criminal enterprise. Say what you want, but Social Security is most definitely NOT designed to be a criminal enterprise. Secondly, in a Ponzi scheme, the books have to be kept hidden from public view in order to keep it going. Social Security is transparent..we know how much funding it has.

    Now, the reason why SS is in trouble is because we have more people retiring at the same time and living longer lives.

    There are simple ways to fix this problem:

    1) Eliminate the cap of Social Security wages. There is no reason why people should stop paying Social Security taxes after they hit $106,800. It is purely regressive that way and as a result of more people living longer we should eliminate this artificial cap to ensure that more money is pumped into the program.

    2) Congress needs to stop raiding the SS trust fund for other projects. Al Gore's "lockbox" is really what needs to happen here.

    3) SS should be subjected to means testing. If you have a robust portfolio with millions in 401K, IRA, stocks/funds, etc then you obviously don't need Social Security and should get a reduced or eliminated benefit.

    Social Security should really be thought of as an insurance policy. Just like if you buy term-life insurance, if you outlive the term, you don't get a payout. Here, if you demonstrate that you have the means at retirement, you should also not get a full payout. This way, people who have not been able to save enough will get the most benefit out of it.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Yalatanza

      It is not a criminal design, but people who think that they can pay some people now with other people's money and maybe somewhere along the way they will continue ad infinitum where the new recruits will pay for the older ones and there will be enough money for them, and for the Schemer to take some for themselves and no body will know. It was Bernie Madoff's son who turned him in, or he would still be collecting, distributing and stealing people's money today.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  7. Rose Judge

    Given all the emphasis on Social Security and the pronostications as to when the system will go broke, it would not o broke if Congress were to repay all the monies borrowed from it over the many many years past! In tandem therewith those receiving SS had to have worked under the system and paid into it in order to be recipients thereof. Candidates, media and others, p;ease get the facts straight.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm |