Kay Bailey Hutchison Still Pushing the Notion That Privatizing Medicare and Social Security Will 'Save' Them
I'm not sure how many times we have to debunk at this site the notion that either partially privatizing, or entirely privatizing Medicare and Social Security is somehow going to "save" or keep solvent either program, but here's what we're running up against daily on our cable media outlets.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison appeared on Chris Jansing's show on MSNBC, and she did receive a tiny bit of push back at the notion that privatizing our social safety nets are going to make sure they still exist for those under the age of 55 now, it wasn't nearly enough.
As soon as you start pulling funds out of either program by giving people a "choice" as to where their money goes, you're going to starve them to where they don't exist. And if Hutchison was being honest about the Social Security trust fund, she wouldn't be telling MSNBC viewers that taking money away from the fund will keep it solvent and that there's no reason to raise taxes to assure that it is. It's a regressive tax which hits those at the lower income brackets harder and I would love to see the cap lifted and the rate lowered for those who make less money, just as they do with our federal income tax. Regardless of whether you make the tax progressive or not, just raising or lifting the cap would keep it solvent for decades to come.
I also continue to be astounded that Republicans think it's a good talking point that they don't want to screw over current seniors, but they're happy to screw over their kids and are silly enough to think that the current seniors won't care what happens to their children and their grandchildren. Don't worry anyone on the programs now... we're not going to do anything to you. So don't worry your pretty heads about what happens to anyone else who would like those same safety nets in place later. They've all been brainwashed from listening to us that the programs won't be there for them later, so who cares if we don't look out for them. They were expecting it anyway after years of listening to our propaganda.
Rough transcript of their exchange below the fold.
JANSING: President Obama will address the AARP's national convention on Friday, a chance to again make what has been a winning argument for him, that the Republican plan would weaken Medicare benefits. A recent CBS/New York Times poll shows the President holding a seven-point advantage over Governor Romney on this question -- Who would do a better job of handling Medicare?
Let me bring in Texas Republican senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Always great to have you on the program, Senator. Good morning.
HUTCHISON: Oh thank you. Good morning. Good morning to you Chris.
JANSING: In addition to that poll I just showed, three-quarters of voters favor keeping Medicare the way it is, rather than changing it to a system like the Romney /Ryan proposal where retirees would get this fixed payment from the government to buy traditional Medicare, or they could go to a private insurance policy . Democrats have been calling this Republican plan, as you know, Voucher Care and it seems to be resonating. Is this a bad message for your side?
HUTCHISON: Well, I think we have got to look at the entitlement spending that is wrecking our economy and next year, it is going up to 60% of the total budget of our country. And what I think Romney is doing is trying to say, we want to save Medicare. We want to save Social Security. We have a safety net that is required. and we will not walk away from a safety net . But having an innovative approach which would affect people only under the age of 55, and those are the ones who are afraid it's not going to be there for them, because of the high cost of entitlement spending, it's for them that we are looking and a President Romney would go forward with a plan that would allow people to choose what they need and not pay for things that they're not going to use, which is the one size fits all plan that the Obama administration is putting forward.
JANSING: But there has been some analysis that suggests the out-of-pocket costs will necessarily go up. That's where the savings come from, and is that the trade-off that you're willing to make that you think is part of this calculation, that we think in order to save Medicare for the long run, people are going to -- the elderly are going to have to pay more out of pocket in the future?
HUTCHISON: Well, I don't think you have to do that. I think you can give them choices so that they can pick the plans that they like that would affect them the most. and I don't think you would have to make the choice of increasing costs. Just like the same in Social Security, Chris. You can fix Social
Security without increasing costs or taxes at all, but we have a Congress that's unwilling to act and a President who is not engaging on this. And I think what I give Romney credit for is he wants to save Social Security and Medicare for the long term. And I think that's the kind of leadership our country needs.