Talk radio host Laura Ingraham pressed Congressman Paul Ryan in an interview Tuesday on whether he agreed with Texas governor Rick Perry's claim that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme." Contrary to some reports, Ryan didn't directly say that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but he noted that some aspects of a pay-as-you-go program work like such a scheme. Asked to side with Mitt Romney or Rick Perry in their debate over Social Security, Ryan said: "they’re both right" in saying that the program "is not working, it is going bankrupt, and current seniors will be jeopardized the most by the status quo."
Here's the partial transcript from Ryan's interview with Ingraham:
INGRAHAM: What about the Social Security description of Rick Perry, calling it a Ponzi scheme. Are you closer to what he has to say on, or closer to Romney’s stance on that?
RYAN: Well, Mitt Romney also said that the management of the program was a criminal enterprise. Look, there’s three facts about Social Security that everybody agrees with. Number one, it’s a very simple program that millions of people depend on. Number two, if nothing is done, there are across the board cuts that automatically kick in under current law for current seniors. And number three, if nothing is done, the next generation receives a bankrupt program.
INGRAHAM: So the answer is neither of them is close to what you have to say.
RYAN: No, they’re both right, I would say, which is, it is not working, it is going bankrupt, and current seniors will be jeopardized the most by the status quo. And so, if you take a look at the technicality of Ponzi, it’s not a criminal enterprise, but it’s a pay-as-you-go system where earlier investors, or say taxpayers, get a positive rate of return--
INGRAHAM: It’s a Ponzi scheme!
RYAN: --and later investors, or taxpayers, get a negative rate of return….And so, it is obviously, that is how those schemes work.The point is, unless you fix this problem, it’s going to get much worse. And so truth-tellers, honest people, leaders face the facts, tell the truth, and propose solutions, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.