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Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Let states opt out of Social Security

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‘Cornered’ by television host, Perry dodges question about presidential ambitions…

Appearing on television Thursday, Texas Governor Rick Perry, a potential contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, said that he wants states to be able to opt-out of Social Security.

On CNN’s Parker/Spitzer, hosted by Democrat and former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and political columnist Kathleen Parker, Perry compared Social Security to a ponzi scheme and said that Americans want Washington to stop spending so much money.

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“Here’s what I think would be a very wise thing,” he began. “In 1981, Matagorda, Brazoria, and Galveston Counties all opted out of the Social Security program for their employees. Today, their program is very, very well-funded and there is no question about whether it’s going to be funded in the out years. It’s there. That’s an option out there.”

“So, you want to let people opt out?” responded Spitzer.

“I think, let the states decide if that’s what’s best for their cities,” Perry replied.

“So the states will let people opt out of Social Security?” Spitzer asked

“They should,” the recently reelected Texas governor said.

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In his forthcoming book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, Perry is highly critical of federal government policies. Though not on sale until November 15th, excerpts were recently leaked to reporters.

In the book, Perry criticizes government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance, but seems to exempt America’s largest expenditures on defense, national security and foreign military aid.

Instead, the Perry attacks social welfare programs as “fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end.”

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“This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal,” he wrote.

The book is also critical of the the 17th Amendment, which established the election of senators by popular vote instead of by state legislatures.

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Though posturing himself as a small-government conservative, Perry was behind a scheme to implement a “market-based approach” to the state’s highway congestion by dividing Texas into corridors split by massive toll roads financed by foreign investors. Land would have been seized by eminent domain and tolls would have been collected for 50+ years. While the so-called “Trans-Texas Corridor” has been effectively scrapped, critics of the plan say it is still largely in play but renamed and broken into dozens of smaller projects.

Perry was also criticized by republicans for ordering every school-age girl in the state to receive an injection of the Guardasil vaccine, mean to protect against cervical cancer. His executive order, which the GOP-dominated legislature blocked, came after drug maker Merck doubled lobbying efforts in the state.

At the time of Perry’s reelection, Texas was running an estimated budget deficit of up to $17 billion, according to the state comptroller’s office.

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Asked directly if he plans on seeking the presidency, Perry did not offer a concrete answer.

A national survey conducted by the GfK Roper consulting firm found that 90 percent of those ages 18 to 29 considered Social Security “important” and nearly 80 percent of those over 65 considered it “one of the very most important government programs.”

In addition, 80 percent of respondents said contributing to Social Security benefited “the common good.”

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RAW STORY editor Stephen C. Webster contributed to this report.


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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report

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Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.

"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."

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