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Friday, July 29, 2016

Trump finesses Social Security

Social Security traps the Republican presidential nominee every four years, as Democrats warn voters that the Republican candidate will destroy this 81-year-old program.

Trump avoided that trap.

In remarks to AARP and also the Kiplinger Letter, Trump has made it clear that he has no plans to touch the third rail of American politics. Karl Rove had Republicans touch it in 2005. Democrats took over Congress the next year.

Kiplinger asked Trump what he will do to keep the program solvent past 2033. He replied:
“I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is; to make this country rich again; to bring back our jobs; to get rid of deficits; to get rid of waste, fraud and abuse, which is rampant in this country, rampant, totally rampant. And it’s my absolute intention to leave Social Security the way it is.”
Well played. No need to reduce benefits or increase taxes if the economy grows. Thus he sells his economic plan as helping make Social Security solvent again. When was the last time a presidential candidate actually said a strong economy will bring solvency?

Hillary wants to turn it into a welfare program:
“Rather than expand benefits for everyone, I do want to take care of low-income seniors who worked at low-wage jobs. I want to take care of women. [...] I want to start by helping those people who are most at risk.”
Help women, not men. How sexist.

And how pedestrian. Every Democratic presidential candidate since Franklin Roosevelt has promised this.

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  1. This is an instance of how populism helps get you elected, as opposed to being tethered to an ideology. Everyone knows that it is at heart a ponzi scheme, and that it is on track to go broke. The Democrats choose to ignore this and pour gasoline on the fire. Principled Conservatives say something about the Constitution and the Founders and dutifully go down with the ship (I hope the Nevertrumpers know better than to use this kind of language around their new friends, as Bill may become unduly exited). And Libertarians will say that the Republicans are insufficiently free market and tell their leftist friends that they won't hold their votes against them (they are the Quakers of the right, they have principles, but they would never be so bold as to defend them in any meaningful way).

    1. Hard point about Libertarians

      "Libertarians are just low-tax liberal conformists obsessed with weed and embracing the latest p.c. fads"

      IOW they're Lefties at heart.

    2. Enablers of the left. They see a lot in common with each other because both are chiliastic belief systems that depend on a universalist transformation of human nature in order to achieve a utopian ideal.

  2. Sooner or later Social Security will go bust.

    Let the Democrats take the heat.

  3. Something must be done about Social Security and Medicare before they collapse, but that is the responsibility of CONGRESS, not the President. I cannot understand why nobody seems to get this. The President is powerless to reform ANY law. All he can do is sign or veto what Congress sends to his desk - Elric

    1. "The President is powerless to reform ANY law. "

      We are in the age of the administrative state. The "law" is what the executive branch says it is.

      One way to deal with the solvency of SS on a 30-40 year time scale is to raise the early retirement age along with the increases that have been made in the full retirement age for future beneficiaries. That is possible only if the economy continues to go full blast so that people who are already here (!) are employed and paying their FICA taxes. The flood of young immigrants the Dems want, who enter the work force and take most of the new jobs at the expense of Americans of working age, may solve the immediate cash flow problem of SS, but adds to the long-term funding problem downstream, 30-40 years out, when they and habitually unemployed Americans they displace in the work force all reach retirement age and start collecting SS benefits. You can't have 93 million Americans of working age either unemployed or underemployed and not expect SS to have cash flow problems.

    2. Here's a specific recent example of how the president, in his efforts to kill the 2ndA of the Bill of Rights, can make law by "interpreting" a law that's already on the books:

      "Last Friday President Obama issued [an executive order] which changed the definition of a 'manufacturer' under the ITAR treaty regulations, a change which now means anyone who so much as threads a barrel on a firearm needs to pay thousands more dollars in fees and is subject to further registration."

  4. Yes! that will defuse the Dems from showing a commercial about Trump starving the pet "usless eaters" (the real Dem opinion of the elderly) contingent. Never have forgiven AARP for supporting
    Trump is brilliant..
    TG McCoy

    1. Hillary's compass starts spinning wildly every time she dares to enter Trump's Barracuda Triangle.

  5. Saw an old cartoon once somewhere or other about Social Security going bust. Went like this:

    Old Mother Hubbard
    Lost the key to the cupboard,
    On which she had mooched for her meat;
    "Well," she said to the pup,
    "Our old loafing game's up;
    Henceforth we must earn what we eat."

  6. Trump finesses SocSec; Dems panic.


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