The Corner

Perry: Social Security Must be Reformed

In a USA Today op-ed today, Rick Perry avoids controversial language about Social Security (and says that current and soon-to-be recipients’ benefits should be “protected”), but emphasizes that the program must be reformed:

These are the hard facts: Social Security’s unfunded liability is calculated in the trillions of dollars. Last year, annual Social Security outlays exceeded annual revenues for the first time since 1983. TheCongressional Budget Office projects that outlays will be roughly 5% greater than revenues over the next five years, worsening as more and more Baby Boomers retire.

By 2037, retirees will only get roughly 76 cents back for every dollar that is put into Social Security unless reforms are implemented. Imagine how long a traditional retirement or investment plan could survive if it projected investors would lose 24% of their money?

I am going to be honest with the American people. Our elected leaders must have the strength to speak frankly about entitlement reform if we are to right our nation’s financial course and get the USA working again.

Earlier this cycle, Tim Pawlenty tried to position himself as the truth-teller candidate. It’ll be interesting if Perry has any more luck gaining traction by using that position. 

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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