Sharron Angle didn’t allow Harry Reid to demagogue Social Security. Pat Toomey will have to do the same to Joe Sestak.
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This is like trying to achieve budget savings in national defense by not paying the manufacturers of the Air Force’s planes, the Navy’s ships, the Army’s tanks and artillery, and the bullets, bombs and guns. How long do you think our national defense would remain functional under that policy? That is how long Medicare now has as well, thanks to Harry Reid dancing to the tune of the ultra-left piano players in Washington.
Think of it this way. You wouldn’t try to balance your own family budget by just refusing to pay your bills, particularly for goods and services you planned to continue to consume. You would recognize that is really just stealing. Instead, you would either cut back on your purchases, or find ways to increase your income. You wouldn’t refuse to pay the cable bill, thinking you are nevertheless going to be able to continue to watch your 300 channels on cable TV. But that is the new Obama/Reid policy for Medicare.gt;
Contrast this wild, reckless, dysfunctional, Obama/Reid Medicare carpet-bombing with the careful, fundamental reforms of Medicare in Paul Ryan’s Roadmap. Ryan’s reforms make no changes for today’s seniors, and phase in the reforms slowly over time for younger workers so they can plan and prepare for their retirement years. With seniors covered by private insurance they choose in a competitive marketplace, doctors and hospitals will be paid competitive market rates, ensuring America’s seniors will still enjoy access to the best, most advanced health care in the world. Yet Ryan’s reforms are scored as achieving permanent, full solvency for Medicare.
Reid’s Medicare DisAdvantage
The discussion above doesn’t even count Obamacare’s additional cuts to Medicare Advantage, the private option to Medicare that close to one fourth of all seniors have chosen for their coverage under the program because it gives them a better deal. In last week’s debate, Reid laughed at Angle, claiming her facts were wrong, and said, “Medicare Advantage people in the state of Nevada are going to pay less rather than more. There will be more Medicare Advantage people on the rolls now, as a result of the health care bill being passed.”
But Medicare’s own Chief Actuary estimates that 50% of all seniors with Medicare Advantage will lose their plan because of the $145 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage that Harry Reid supported in the Obamacare bill. Because of those extreme cuts, those who do not lose their Medicare Advantage plan will pay more, or get less in benefits.
Moreover, none of this counts any of the additional Medicare cuts to be adopted by the unelected, appointed, bureaucrats at the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board. Obamacare empowers the Board to adopt further Medicare cuts that would become effective without any Congressional action. As the Medicare Chief Actuary reports, “The Secretary of HHS is required to implement the Board’s recommendations unless the statutory process is overridden by new legislation.”
Joe Sestak’s Rocketing Tax Increases
Meanwhile, in the Pennsylvania Senate race, witness how the desperate Joe Sestak provides “responsible” leadership on the issue of Social Security. Regarding a plan that Toomey has favored to allow young workers the freedom to choose to save and invest part of their payroll taxes in their own personal accounts, Sestak says, “It’s outrageous that Congressman Toomey wants to gamble our social security on Wall Street,” following that with ads on the theme “Keep your hands off of my Social Security.”
Sestak voted for the same draconian Obamacare Medicare cuts that Harry Reid did. How stupid does Sestak think voters in Pennsylvania are to now present himself as a champion of seniors? Toomey would be stupid not to hit back at Sestak hard on his Medicare carpet-bombing, just as Sharron Angle has done in Nevada.
Harry Reid also tried to demagogue Angle on Social Security in last week’s debate in Nevada. Toomey should take note of her response, “Man up, Harry Reid, you need to understand that we have a problem with Social Security.” She scored him for raiding the Social Security trust fund during his 24 years in the Senate, leaving it with nothing but a pile of IOUs that the taxpayers will have to pay for again to pay promised Social Security benefits.
Congressman Paul Ryan has also introduced legislation for a careful, well-structured personal account option for younger workers that has been scored as achieving permanent full solvency for Social Security, without tax increases. But Reid responded to Angle with lame name-calling, saying, “These ideas of my opponent are really extreme.” But what is really extreme is the doubling of Social Security payroll taxes that will ultimately be necessary without any personal account reforms and taking any benefit cuts off the table as well. That doubling of payroll taxes is what Joe Sestak is effectively supporting, along with Harry Reid.
Angle also pointed out in the debate that Reid actually enjoys a very similar personal account option in the federal Thrift Savings Plan, where Reid has likely accumulated close to a million dollars by now. Angle said, “If it’s good enough for Harry Reid, it should be good enough for the rest of us.” As an incumbent Congressman, Sestak enjoys a personal account in the federal Thrift Savings Plan as well, with the same investment for his retirement that he says is too risky for anyone else.
These personal account proposals all involve just a choice even for young workers. Everyone is free to stay in the current Social Security system if they prefer. It is up to the choice of each worker. Moreover, no one with a personal account is required to invest anything in the stock market. That is a choice of each worker as well. This is why it is stupid and dishonest for Sestak to accuse Toomey of wanting to gamble anyone’s Social Security on Wall Street.
Most importantly, these personal account proposals all involve no change for anyone retired today, or anyone anywhere near retirement. That is why Sestak’s ads featuring seniors he has misled saying to Republicans, “Keep your hands off of my Social Security” are illegitimate demagoguery as well. This debased politics is how America has gotten into the trouble it is in. If we are going to deal with the real problems America suffers, then we have to reject this cynical political manipulation.
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