Regardless of whether you believe the Social Security system, as now structured, satisfies the precise elements of a Ponzi scheme, you have to admit that if it had been correctly designed and administered, it would not be approaching insolvency and threatening our liberty and prosperity.
Have we reached the point that telling the truth about certain programs is an automatic death warrant for your campaign? Personally, I don't believe so.
It's fine and good for candidates to claim they have strong business experience, know how to grow the economy and would be fiscally frugal. But one's stated policies mean nothing if he doesn't have the character to stand by them when they're under attack or when it becomes politically expedient to do otherwise. Politicians severely harm their own credibility when, for whatever reason, they choose to attack their competitors for having the courage to demand national sobriety on these existential financial threats to America.
No matter what, there is no excuse for candidates or their supporters to lie about or distort the positions of their opponents.
That's why it was disturbing to read that Tim Pawlenty, in an interview explaining his decision to endorse former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, said: "Gov. Romney wants to fix Social Security. He doesn't want to abolish it or end it. ... Gov. Perry has said in the past that he thought it was 'failed.'"
Is that a fair characterization of Perry's position? It seems to me that Perry's idea is much like Rep. Paul Ryan's; Perry believes that the Social Security benefits "for current recipients and those nearing retirement must be protected. For younger workers, we must consider reforms to make Social Security financially viable."
Why aren't these Republicans who are dishonestly trashing Perry on this issue aiming all their rhetorical weapons against President Obama and the Democrats, who refuse even to consider meaningful entitlement reform?
The way I see it, those who are shamelessly attacking Perry on this issue, in an effort to score cheap political points, are tempting many of us to choose sides way before we wanted to. So be it.