Republican Governors Association Chairman Rick Perry (R-Texas) called Social Security a Ponzi scheme on Sunday and said young workers know they will never receive any of the money they currently pay into the fund.
"What I'm saying is that between Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, there's $106 trillion of unfunded liabilities and not one dime saved to pay for them," Perry said on "Fox News Sunday." "My children who are in their 20s know that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme."
When challenged by host Chris Wallace, who pointed out that when Social Security started there were seven or eight workers for every retiree, Perry doubled down on his criticism by arguing the program would even shame Charles Ponzi, who inspired the term by paying returns to early investors using money from later investors.
"It probably is a program that even makes Mr. Ponzi feel pretty bad if
he was still alive. The fact is our children know that the money that they're putting into Medicaid, they'll never see," Perry said.
"And it is a Ponzi scheme. I don't know how you would explain it any other way than what you just did. There are fewer people paying into it and our kids are never going to see any benefit from it. Fix it and fix it today. "
Despite his criticism, Perry didn't have any immediate ideas for how to put social security on stronger footing, but said giving states their Medicaid funds in the form of block grants would go a long way towards saving taxpayers dollars and balancing state and federal budgets.
"Medicaid, we think we can save substantial dollars for the federal government and for the states if they'll allow us to implement that program," Perry said, urging the administration to allow states to be the laboratories of innovation.
Perry also disagreed with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that this week's initial public offering from General Motors shows the government's bailout of the auto companies had been a success.
"I don't know whether it worked or not," Perry said. "Here's what's more important — sending the message there are people out there or there are entities out there that are too big to fail is just wrong. It is wrong philosophically. It is wrong for a fiscal conservative to say that."