Friday, September 02, 2011

Perry's Campaign Against the New Deal

Perry's Campaign Against the New Deal:

It is an ideological milestone that the emerging Republican front-runner is as skeptical of the New Deal as anyone in his position since the New Deal. During the 1936 election, Republican nominee Alf Landon called Social Security "unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed." Now, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" that tells young workers a "monstrous lie." It is a "failure" that "we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now."

It is true that Barry Goldwater, during the 1964 campaign, said, "I think Social Security ought to be voluntary." But when his rival Nelson Rockefeller claimed this would be a "personal disaster to millions of senior citizens," Mr. Conservative backed down. Challenged on his proposal, Goldwater responded, "I don't know where you ever got the idea."

It is true that Ronald Reagan, during his 1976 campaign for president, contended, "Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal." But Reagan's presidency was an extended accommodation with the New Deal. Reagan used the economic crisis of his time -- inflation and economic stagnation -- not to repeal entitlements but to lower tax rates. Social Security spending rose dramatically during the Reagan years.

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