Rep. Bachus: Social Security ‘Can Be Operated as a Ponzi Scheme’

By Christopher Goins | September 13, 2011 | 7:42 PM EDT

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Commitee. (AP Photo.)

( -- Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme, according to the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, but it can be operated in a way that has the same result as a Ponzi scheme. asked Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) on Sept. 8, the day after the GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library: “At last night’s debate, Gov. Rick Perry said that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Would you agree with that statement?”

Bachus said: “That’s not my characterization.”

He continued: “It can be operated as a Ponzi scheme. It has the same result as a Ponzi scheme. And I think that would be a far more accurate thing. But no I wouldn’t call it a Ponzi scheme.”

Bachus acknowledged that many Americans depend on Social Security and admitted that Congress needs to "strengthen, safeguard, and reform" the program.

Last Wednesday, Perry said the GOP nominee must be someone who wants to save Social Security, but also mentioned that the status quo -- the way Social Security is currently operating -- is nothing other than a Ponzi scheme.

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

"People who are on Social Security today, men and women who are receiving those benefits today, or individuals of my age who are in line pretty quick to get them, they don’t have to worry about anything," Perry said.

"The Republican candidates are talking about ways to transition this program and it is a monstrous lie,” said the Texas governor. “It is a Ponzi scheme to tell our kids that are 25 or 30 years old today that you’re paying into a program that’s going to be there. Anybody that’s for the status quo with Social Security today is involved with a monstrous lie to our kids, and it’s not right.”

"You can not keep the status quo in place and call it anything other than what it is -- a Ponzi scheme,” he said. “Americans know that. And regardless of what anyone says, ‘Oh its not and that’s provocative language.’ Maybe it’s time to have provocative language in this country.”