Republican Iowa Senate Candidate Joni Ernst, whose castration of the swine in DC ad earned her a devoted conservative following, thinks “we all need to sit down” in a bipartisan manner to discuss privatizing Social Security.
That alarm bell ringing in your head is warning you that “we need to sit down” is the equivalent of “It’s not you.” It is you, and by sit down and talk, they mean they have already made up their minds.
Ernst and South Dakota Senator John Thune met with votes in Sgt. Bluff Wednesday. According to polling results from the Des Moines Register, Ernst enjoys strong support in rural areas, even though her opponent has hammered the republican for her comments on privatizing social security, a hot button subject for ageing Iowans
“I talk about those options,” said Ernst. “I think we all need to sit down together in a bipartisan manner and work through the options which there are many, in order to solve this issue. However Congressman Braley has used this issue every two years in a reelection cycle to scare seniors, but not do anything to solve the problems.”
In 2010, Tea Party Koch Republicans ran as “moderate” Republicans, and then when elected set about in a Great Collective Heist to steal from the poor to give to the rich. They went after unions, poor babies, unwed mothers, the elderly, the Veterans Administration, they shut down the government after wildly and irresponsibly slashing budgets – but they always had more money to give to big business.
So when someone like that says we need to “talk” about privatizing Social Security, it should bring about the same reaction as Ernst’s proud castration ad did for sane people. Especially after the debate against her Democratic opponent is Bruce Braley in which she repeated Tea Party talking points like a broken record.
Factcheck: There is no need to privatize Social Security. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, as Republican hero Ronald Reagan explained :
“Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once and for all… Social security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund or reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security Trust Fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or raising or lowering the deficit.”
Not only that, but Social Security is also not going broke. A 2013 Social Security trustees report found that the program will be able to pay every benefit until 2033.
Ironically, it is the Republicans’ own Medicare Part D that “threatens to explode entitlement costs”. Dan Gross explained in The Daily Beast that it is the “Republican-designed Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit that threatens to explode entitlement costs, by as much as $1 trillion in 10 years.”
Speaker John Boehner has even admitted that there is no debt crisis, but Republicans want to gut Social Security and Medicare anyway. They will use any excuse to gut it. In other words, “we need to talk about this” is code for “it’s over.”
Privatizing sounds good on the surface, but of course, if it worked these social safety net programs would not have been needed in the first place. Republicans have been trying to privatize Social Security and Medicare for years. It is on their agenda, no matter what they tell voters in an election year. Their minds are made up, and there is nothing to “discuss”.
If Republicans are really concerned about Social Security and Medicare, they might try cutting their buddies off from looting the treasury of the taxpayers’ money. Or they could raise or eliminate the cap on the payroll tax. They could do a lot of things before coming after the people’s rather paltry safety net. But they have already made up their minds. They are just looking for a good excuse to hang it on. It’s not you… But it is.
This concludes this session of how to lose a senate seat, GOP style. Ernst should be following her Republican playbook of denying that she is going to do whatever the party tells her to do. She should be pretending that on this issue, she breaks with the Republican Party’s platform. But no one is going to accuse Joni Ernst of being super astute.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.