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I guess it's asking too much for Meet the Press host David Gregory to correct his guests when they lie to his viewers and call Social Security a "Ponzi scheme," because he didn't say boo when Republican "strategist" Alex Castellanos did just that. His fellow panel member, Neera Tanden, was left to do it instead.
Evidently, that's about what we should expect from someone said to President Obama that he's "gotta talk tough to seniors." Heaven knows we can't have the likes of Gregory's taxes going up if we lift that income cap to keep Social Security solvent for decades to come.
ALEX CASTELLANOS: There's the lesson here. And what we're seeing is the collapse and failure of big old dumb top-down hierarchical government in Washington. This is factory-style government from another age. It can do big simple things but it can't deal with the complexities of an adaptive modern society. And if Obamacare was an anomaly, that would be one thing.
But tell me something that Washington is doing a good job at. Education? A disaster. Social Security? It's bankrupt, a Ponzi scheme. Name something Washington is doing well. It can't manage its fiscal--
ALEX CASTELLANOS: David Axelrod made a point not long ago. He said, "Look, part of the problem of being president is that government is so vast you can't know what's going on underneath it." The Democrats' answer seems to be expand it.
FMR. SEN. RICK SANTORUM: More and more.
ALEX CASTELLANOS: That's the wrong answer.
DAVID GREGORY: All right. Neera--
NEERA TANDEN: No, no. So, here--
FMR. SEN. RICK SANTORUM: That's what we're learning.
NEERA TANDEN: I think millions of seniors would think that the government or think Social Security and Medicare are working pretty well. But it's good to know that my Republican--
ALEX CASTELLANOS: Until it goes bankrupt.
NEERA TANDEN: --colleagues don't like Social Security and Medicare, which is--
ALEX CASTELLANOS: So you don't think it needs reform?
NEERA TANDEN: --a long-running--
NEERA TANDEN: Let me just say about this, obviously there have been challenges. But, you know, I've worked in health care policy for quite a long time and I remember the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug bill which there were a lot of problems with. And I remember senators, Republican senators saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." One of those senators was Rick Santorum, at a hearing saying, you know, "Let's have patience with this. It's going to work out." And the Medicare prescription drug bill has worked out.
If Republicans want to listen to Castellanos' advice and run on slashing benefits to seniors, I say good luck to them. They're hoping Democrats are stupid enough to do it for them so they can turn around and run attack ads on the issue against them, just like they did after the healthcare law passed.