Overheard on CNN.com: Social Security is not an entitlement
September 13th, 2011
04:26 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Social Security is not an entitlement

Comments of the Day

Read my lips, "No more Texans."–DavenCA

"So a Mormon, a fundamentalist Christian and an airhead walk into a bar"–DoctorMumbai

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was apparently the candidate to beat in Monday night's first-ever CNN/Tea Party debate in Florida. Under attack were his positions on illegal immigration, Social Security, and the vaccination of Texas schoolgirls against human papillomavirus - a program Rep. Michele Bachmann suggested was politically motivated. CNN.com readers commented on the format and suggested their own debate winners.

Perry comes under fire at the CNN/Tea Party debate

Did Bachmann wound front-runner Perry at CNN/Tea Party Debate?

flyingram said, "Three cheers for Wolf Blitzer! I am not a fan of CNN, but let's give credit where it is due. Wolf Blitzer provided a model of what a professional moderator looks like. He was even-handed, avoided baiting questions and appeared to go out of his way to administer time/candidate response-management in a way that was fair to all of the GOP candidates."

678 said, "I tuned in and thought I was watching Saturday Night Live. Perry is a joke. Only Tea Party extremists could see either him or Bachmann as a potential president. These two see everything in simplistic terms that do not even scratch the surface of the complexities involved. God help us if this is the best our Republican Party has to offer."

But flyingram asked how candidates could deal with complexities when they "have one minute to respond? Would you agree that this format invites simplistic responses, no matter which political party candidates are at the lectern?"

Commenting on Bachman's attack on Perry's vaccination order, RuthinFL said, "I suppose Bachmann thinks the government was out of line forcing polio and smallpox vaccines, too? I've had more than one friend who went through years of pre-cancerous status while being treated because of HPV. I took my daughter the moment it was offered. How dare Bachmann try to throw mud on Perry over this? She's not presidential material and is definitely no medical expert."

But ObamaBinBad disagreed, "Michelle Bachmann was great. She exposed Rick Perry as a liberal on immigration and a crony corporate loser."

greenjeans said, "Believe it or not, I think Santorum and Huntsman gained the most ground in that debate. Bachmann also got some jabs in." realitycanbe said, "Herman Cain or Ron Paul actually make a hell of a lot more sense, but I guess that doesn't count for much any more. We worry about elect-ability instead of just ability." bburgess asked, "Why is it that Ron Paul gives the most consistent and honest answers, but he seemingly gets ignored in both the debate and in the media? I'm not saying I agree with everything he says, but he makes very valid points."

rosiejones said, "I don't vote by party lines. I vote according to the candidate. And let me tell you, if the Republican Party runs any of these uber-conservative candidates, I'll vote for Obama before I'll vote for any one of them."

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

All eyes on Social Security

Of all the jabs at Perry, the sharpest was about Social Security, writes political expert William Howell. Mitt Romney accused Perry of trying to scare senior citizens and ruin the Republican Party by calling Social Security unconstitutional, a Ponzi scheme and a failure, Howell writes. A CNN fact check ruled Perry's 'Ponzi scheme' remark false. Many CNN.com readers agreed.

luckyponytoo said, "Calling it a Ponzi scheme is just a politician's attempt to demonize it by associating it with something evil. There's really no difference between this and a bank. Do you think the bank actually holds on to your money for you? Of course not: They say it's yours and at the same time give it out to other people and businesses as loans. They don't have your money any more than Social Security has your money."

Southerner01 said, "First step to fixing a problem is to admit there is one. There are quite a few changes that could be made to the Social Security system to FIX it without ENDING it."

mikaz said, "So the GOP candidates all want to eliminate Social Security and replace it with private equity retirement accounts? At the same time they want to deregulate the Wall Street Raiders and banks that destroyed our economy in the first place. Yikes! What a recipe for disaster."

MeanOldMan said, "The Republicans have been trying to kill Social Security since it was created, and they will never stop. If every person who advocates privatizing it is voted out in the elections it may slow them down but they will keep coming after it. Social Security is not even, of itself, a factor in the national debt. The problem is that the politicians stole the money out of the trust to balance their general budgets."

Miraflores said, "Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements. My husband and I have paid into Social Security since we were 16. The tax was taken out each paycheck for our lifetime until retirement. Medicare is not an entitlement either: The only true entitlement is Medicaid. Of all the Republicans, Romney seems more like the old GOP, but the rest are far-right religious inspired politicians, best out of government."

dirtybug said, "Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme; it is real, and needed, and should be protected. When your hearing fades, your eyes grow dim, and your legs can't carry you; you will be very proud of your Social Security check. It is yours, you earned it, and how dare Perry or anyone else mess with it! Age is a demon, and it happens to us all."

Top Irish Catholic cleric calls for church to end celibacy for priests

In the wake of sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic church, retired Irish Bishop Dr. Edward Daly called for an end to the requirement that priests be celibate. While most CNN.com readers supported the idea, they questioned whether doing so would actually reduce pedophilia in the Catholic church.

Linda said, "The problems in the Church are not because a priest is celibate. The problems are because these men are pedophiles and have been allowed to hide their problems within the Church walls. There are many men who are married and are pedophiles." eality agreed, "Ending celibacy for priests will not solve the problem since 50 percent of those men convicted of pedophilia are married."

Carol said, "I find celibacy strange and would like it explained to me why there should be such a thing as celibacy among nuns or priests." YBT said, "It is so they, their spouses and their children will not own or inherit any of the Church's property or real estate."

ThinkForYourself said, "Not that I have a horse in the race, but considering the shortage of priests in many areas and the original reason for not allowing priests to marry - that the Church might lose land to inheritance - I don't see any good reason not to allow priests to marry, other than the Church is just hard-headed."

John Richardson said, "It won't by itself cure the problem, but it could dramatically change the population from which they are recruiting priests. It would be a healthy improvement. Ordaining women would be an even more healthy improvement."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Hello, clearmind.
    How are you doing, Sir, how are you?
    I think of you every time I come on these blogs...which is to say, every day.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. clearmind

    @banasy I am doing better everyday. Thank you for asking. like i said before I was loved and I loved very deeply. doesnt get any better gotta go on to make her proud. I hope you and family are doing well.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |


    September 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Middle class

    OMG. This is it?

    September 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    ok so social security is a ponzi scheme hmmm how many years did that guy in new york get? that would pretty much solve the problem of the most crooked gov on the planent wouldnt it since you get prison time for that. jail em all & we can start over! amen!

    September 14, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    and mitt romney you are a disgrace to michigan and to the united states. im ashamed that you are from the same state as me and you are about as unamerican as they come! you really need to go lay down by your dish you dirty dog!

    September 14, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. monaburge

    Three weeks ago, Obama led Perry by only six points (49 percent to 43 percent). http://bit.ly/nLfJQt

    September 14, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kat Satin

    RON PAUL Should Give Up all His Money and Homes and Everything else and try living on Minimum Wage ....Pay Check to Pay Check...He wouldn't last a Week....It's the Rich Jerks Like Ron Paul that got this Country in the Mess We Are In Now....We Need to Prepare?..Yeah ..We need to prepare to Throw Him (RON PAUL) off of a VERY BIG BRIDGE with a 20# Chain...Samething that All the Politicians Deserve for Running this Wonderful Country into the Ground for there Own Personal Gains......Vote For Ron Paul and You Vote for Just Another Rich Guy.....Kat Satin

    September 14, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • RFuller

      First, Ron Paul returns a chunk of his salary to the Treasury every single year. Over his thirty year career he has not once voted for a tax increase. He has not once voted for a pay raise. And he has not once voted for an unbalanced budget. He was a doctor before he became a politician. This decision was prompted in 1971 when our government completely got off what little remained of a gold standard. You may not realize it yet but inflation is a hidden tax that hits everyone. If you are in the middle or lower class then typically you can not invest a portion of your income into assets such as gold to offset the dollar debasement when the government decides to print more money in the hopes of retaining some of your wealth. Dr. Paul pushes for sound money and competing currencies. This means that a state could back their currency by gold and you would be allowed to purchase it. Thus, taking away our governments ability to print to infinity without repurcussions. If there were competing currencies then you could opt of putting your money into Federal Reserve notes which have lost 98% of their purchasing power over the last 100 years. It's fine if you do not wish to vote for him but I would like to know who you think would make a better president?

      September 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CBR

    Does anyone ever make it clear during these debates that shout-pits are not allowed. Sometimes people need to be respectful of presidential candidates. You show your opinions at the ballot box. There is no need to be rude and disrespectful.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ma & pa

    Of Sociaal Security (SS)...that "bank" is built on solid bedrock. It "ain't broke, don't need fixin'". The "fixers" are like those who would bulldoze our sturdy home, built with our labor and foresight, then tell us it it was no good because it maybe had a weed on the lawn. They'd then expect us to be grateful for a rickety shack they'd supply for us that they could wreck at any time.

    September 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ma & pa

    About Bishop Daly's call for end of celibacy for preists to stop pedophelia. No correlation. Some causes are misdirection of reproductive drive accompanying decision to not Control One's self and to selfishly harm an innocent trusting child.

    September 15, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
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