Rick Perry says Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie"

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry continued his attack on Social Security over the weekend, calling it a "Ponzi scheme" and a "monstrous lie" to younger Americans who should not expect to get back their contributions upon retirement.

"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie," Perry said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them," Perry told a crowd a The Vine Coffeehouse in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Perry has been no stranger to controversial remarks about the retirement program. In his recent book, Fed Up, Perry called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" and said it was created "at the expense of respect for the Constitution and limited government."

Social Security was created in the wake of the Great Depression as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal in an effort to create a mandatory retirement system for millions of workers.

Last week, a spokesman for the Texas governor's campaign told several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, that Perry's book was intended "as a review and critique of 50 years of federal excesses, not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto." Those comments were seen as a softening of Perry's stance on Social Security.

Asked about his apparent backtrack later in Des Moines on Saturday, Perry said he did no such thing.

"I haven't backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right," Perry told the reporter, according to the Chronicle.

  • Corbett Daly On Twitter»

    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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