Skip to comments.Oh my: Pawlenty calls for Medicare and Social Security reform — in Florida
Posted on 05/25/2011 11:40:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
First he goes after ethanol in Iowa, now this. What’s next? Telling Texans it’s time to wean themselves off of barbecue? Good lord. This isn’t a campaign, it’s an intervention.
Alternate headline: “Tim Pawlenty now unelectable in not one but two early primary states.”
A day after telling Iowans their beloved ethanol subsidies will have to go, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty used a stop in senior-heavy Florida to call for reining in Social Security and Medicare benefits for future retirees…
It’s part of a tough-medicine tour, designed to highlight Pawlenty’s willingness to tell “hard truths.” He’s also planning to visit Washington to call for less-generous pay and benefits for public sector employees and to New York to call for an end to Wall Street bailouts…
Pawlenty said Social Security’s retirement age must “gradually” increase for people who are not yet in the system. He also called for ending cost-of-living increases for wealthy retirees. He said he’ll release details soon and said the changes would not affect current retirees.
That’s from today’s Facebook town hall, where he also took a question that seemed geared towards winning a certain fiscal-con icon’s constituency:
In the state of Indiana, our governor has been really hard on teachers, asked one girl. What is your view of education?
Pawlenty voiced a position on education similar to the reforms passed by Daniels in the last Indiana legislative session: school choice and vouchers, support for charter schools, and saying that education policy should be geared to help children and should put their needs first, rather than the interests of adults in public employee union movement.
The choice of the question seemed deliberate, as a way to position Pawlenty as the natural alternative for Daniels supporters.
The straight talk on entitlements, I think, is mainly geared towards giving him cover with the base for when he starts inching away from Ryan’s Medicare plan. He praised Ryan’s budget when speaking to reporters after the Facebook town hall today but reminded them that he’ll be introducing his own plan in the coming months. With good reason: The more Senate Republicans bail on Ryan — Olympia Snowe is the latest — the closer we get to the sort of tipping point imagined by Nate Silver. It’s easier for the GOP to deflect concerns about Ryan’s Medicare reforms if they’re voting party-line, less easy when the RINO contingent of Snowe, Collins, and Brown defects and thereby implicitly signals to centrists that Ryan’s budget is “extreme.” T-Paw’s trying to massage both sides here (much as he did in Iowa), hinting without saying that he thinks Ryan’s plan is extreme too but not so much that entitlement reform should be avoided. Exit quotation: “What I know is this: There just can’t be any more sacred cows.”
I like his willingness to tell folks who’ll be hurt by a cut, before the election. Still not sure he’s our best shot, but I like this.
Reminds me of Mondale promising to raise taxes.
Well, if the barbecue is federally subsidized using tax payer funds then I certainly hope so.
Pawlenty said Social Securitys retirement age must gradually increase for people who are not yet in the system.
What does this mean? You are in the system the minute you pay a penny towards this program. So basically raising the age will be for 15 year olds and lower.....16 year olds will run out and get a job just to get into the system.
Well, like Mondale it may be political suicide. But at least T-Paw, not Mondale, would be economically CORRECT (reforming entitlements, phasing out ethanol subsidies).
Pawlenty has potential to be the Paul Ryan of this race: willing to propose tough solutions to REAL problems. He may not be as teleprompter-dependent as Hussein, but he ought to be considered as a better man than the current occupant of the Oval Office.
By the way, I am still waiting for someone to tell me how Hussein's two nights at Buckingham Palace are part of his LASER LIKE FOCUS ON JOBS.
I like his willingness to tell folks wholl be hurt by a cut, before the election. Still not sure hes our best shot, but I like this.
Not one word about how HE is going to feel the pain. What about no pay raises for Congress for 50 years. How about a 50 percent pay cut. Congress has NEVER had to feel the pain of any financial situation.
Pretty sure by “in the system” he means “post-current-retirement age.” Typically the proposals are to grrrrradually increase SS retirement age to 70 or even 72, but only someone who’s 25 today would have to wait for 72. Someone who’s 45 today might have to go to 69. Folks 55 and up (again, in a typical reform proposal) wouldn’t be changed.
I think I agree with your underlying point, but T-Paw is a former governor. He's not in Congress.
Sometimes you have to let a drunk hit rock bottom before you can convince him that he has a problem. Drink up America.
Good point....maybe he should announce it anyway to wake up Congress.
Thanks for that post. I still don’t see how this will save any money in the system at least not for a long time. We just lowered the Social Security tax and now they want to raise the age to save it. Why not just put the two percent tax back on. I know we hate taxes but I think people will hate to work another two to four years.
“I like his willingness to tell folks wholl be hurt by a cut, before the election. Still not sure hes our best shot, but I like this.”
I’m with you on this. I really like his emphasis on telling the truth....but have made no firm commitment yet.
Wow. The man states the obvious and gets skewered for it. I’m all for candidates telling the truth rather than us having a “best liar contest” every four years.
I’m not sure I follow you. Maybe you can help me.
1. When was the SS payroll tax rate lowered? If it was, I am shocked I missed it.
2. Pushing back the retirement age will make a huge difference. It’s also quite fair if one looks at the way in which SS was initially “sold,” when life expectancy was actually LOWER than the SS eligibility age. Now it is common for folks to spend decades on SS (and, also at odds with the initial SS plan in the 1930s, they expect it to pay for the bulk of their expenses, not just as a supplement). It’s just unsustainable, particularly with the Baby Boom entering retirement with 1.7 kids each.
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