Rick Perry’s campaign has tried to distance itself from Perry’s 9-month-old book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington for the second time since last week.
In response to a query by The Washington Post, spokesman Mark Miner distanced Perry from his book’s proposal to repeal the 16th Amendment or replace the current tax code with a flat tax.
“The 16th Amendment instituting a federal income tax starting at one percent has exploded into onerous, complex and confusing tax rates and rules for American workers over the last century… We can’t undo more than 70 years of progressive taxation and worsening debt obligations overnight,” he said in an email.
In the book, the Texas governor also blasted the expansion of the federal government and criticized programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He attacked social welfare programs as “fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end.”
Perry also called Social Security “a crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal,” which was implemented “at the expense of respect for the Constitution.”
“This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal,” he wrote.
But his communications director, Ray Sullivan, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the book is not meant to reflect the governor’s current views on Social Security, describing the book as “a look back, not a path forward.” He added that the book was “not in any way as a 2012 campaign blueprint or manifesto.”
Perry now wants Social Security benefits for existing retirees and those close to retirement to be strongly protected, according to Sullivan, but the governor also seeks to reform the program to insure it is fiscally responsible.
The book is also critical of the the 17th Amendment, which established the election of senators by popular vote instead of by state legislatures.