Senator Rand Paul visited Your World yesterday to cheerlead for discuss Republican austerity measures. Neil Cavuto was all ears.
Paul spoke about Democrats pushing for more spending in response to Europe’s austerity revolt. “You’ve got people like Paul Krugman who still think Lord Keynes knew who he was talking about… He seems to think deficits don’t matter and that we ought to pile on more deficits in the middle of a recession, and he thinks the worst thing we could to do is be austere.” Paul said we ought to cut even more than Republicans are looking to do, by cutting “real spending” instead of growth in spending.
Cavuto asked if voters have “swung the other way... They’ve had it with even cutting the growth in entitlements.”
Rand replied, “When you poll the public and you ask them would you be willing to let the age of Social Security rise or means test the benefits, it’s over 50% of the people that know we’re going to have to do something like that.”
A review of several polls about Social Security on Campaign for America’s Future indicates otherwise. One poll shows 65% oppose raising the retirement age. On raising the retirement age to 69, one poll had 69% opposition, and another had 54% opposing that.
But rather than challenge Paul, Cavuto gave him props. “I give you credit, you go out on a limb and propose one trillion dollars in spending cuts and dramatic cuts at that.”
Still, Cavuto implied that he knew Paul was not exactly in lock step with most Americans. Cavuto asked, “Americans are fine in the aggregate saying, ‘Yeah, you should reign in the growth of these but you better not touch mine.’ What do you make of that?”
Paul answered, “If you ask those on Medicare or those approaching Medicare, ‘Do you think we need to do something to save the system, and if that meant letting the age rise gradually would you allow that?’ I think most senior citizens actually would.”
I think most would not. Check out the polls
The reality is that both programs can be stabilized for long term with very minor adjustments. This was done under the Reagan Administration with a miniscule tweak to withholding rates. It could be done again, the same way. It’s just that the GOP pundits and hardline congresspeople would rather throw the whole thing out or simply weaken it to the point that it could be removed without the big fight.
SOP for the GOP.