Republican Lying and Game-Playing Over Social Security's Future

You just have to love these Republicans. They can contradict themselves in the same sentence and then deny that they even opened their mouths:

“People are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts," Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring said. "With all due respect, what the congresswoman is saying is simply untrue — Eric has made clear for months that he is committed to ensuring the long-term viability of these programs by addressing their solvency issues now."

“What's indisputable is that doing nothing — which seems to be the position of the president, his party's leaders, and Congresswoman Schakowsky — will ensure these programs remain on a path to bankruptcy, resulting in a debt-fueled economic crisis," he added. "We should be able to debate different solutions for preserving Social Security and Medicare for future generations based on intellectual honesty, not demagoguery and fear campaigns. If the congresswoman and Democrats wants to hold press events about linguistics or syntax, that’s her prerogative, but outside of Washington, Americans want to hear the truth about our fiscal situation and what their elected leaders are doing about it."

Oooh. Linguistics and syntax! Intellectual honesty, not demagoguery and fear campaigns.What a good idea:

Well, Cantor isn't Palin or Beck, right? We should probably take him at his word that he is deeply sincere in his promise to preserve Social Security, despite saying that it "cannot exist." And this should give you all thew reassurance you need:

Dayspring also pointed to another Cantor statement that clarifies that he does think changes to entitlements need to be made.

“Republicans in the House are going to look to the budget coming out of Paul Ryan's Budget Committee that will deal with entitlements. We're going to put it out there,” Cantor said.

“We're going to say we're protecting today's seniors and those nearing retirement. But for those of us 54 and under, we're going to insist to go and deal with the fact that if these programs are going to be around, they're going to have to look a lot different. That's the plain and simple fact of it,” he added.

Ok, maybe he just misspoke when he said the programs "cannot exist." He meant "reform" and "fixing." It could happen to anyone. Except it's not the only time he's said it. Isaiah Poole at campaign for America's Futurelooked it up:

I scanned some recent quotes of Cantor speaking about Social Security. And everything that I could find with any level of specificity is along the lines of what Cantor is quoted as saying to the Stanton, Va., News Leader earlier this month.

On the federal level, House Republicans plan to introduce in the coming weeks a budget plan for the next fiscal year that would reduce spending in all areas — including entitlements. Medicaid, and particularly Medicare and Medicaid benefits promised to retirees, make up nearly half of federal expenditures, but have been politically difficult to cut.

Under the Republican plan, people 55 or older would get the Social Security and Medicare they expect. Those younger would not, Cantor said.

"For everyone else, 54 and younger, I think we are realizing that we've got to face facts," Cantor said. "The money's not there."


I think we can feel fairly confident that when someone like him says "the money's not there," he's not angling for a tax hike, don't you? He's talking about ending it. (And I don't have to tell anyone who reads this blog that he's lying about the fact that the money's not there, right?)

The House Randians are trying to be clever right now put in some "triggers" and other booby traps so they don't have to go first on SS but can have it both ways if the bipartisan Senate Gang of Slashers and the White House can come to an agreement:

Sources on Wednesday provided The Hill with details of the resolution being crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), due out next week. Instead of cutting Social Security, they said, the resolution would set up triggers to force program trustees to take some actions to shore up the program in the future.

That's dicey for both sides, of course, but it's extremely dicey for the Democrats. It's possible the country will reward the Party for being willing to engage in "tough love" and kill its own best rationale for existing, but I wouldn't count on it. Remember, welfare reform only hit a small number of marginalized people and happened in a time of great economic prosperity. This hits everyone at a time when the entire middle class is insecure. 


Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at April 2, 2011, 4:51am

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