By Dan Lovallo
Here we go again. Donald Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated president yet, and the opposition party is rolling out the Social Security scare tactic. This time it’s U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy carrying the water. The first-term Connecticut Democrat has become the darling of the left, with some quarters touting him as presidential timbre. We’ll leave that for another day.
The fact is, the Democrats have been using the tired-and-worn Social Security scare tactic since Ronald Reagan was president. Anytime a Republican gets elected president, as sure as Democrats refuse to label this time of year as “the Christmas season,” comes the call the “Republicans want to eliminate Social Security.” Fortunately, as evidenced by last month’s election results, an informed public now recognizes the accusation as tired-and-worn.
That, however, did not stop Murphy from rolling out the charge in a CT News Junkie story. “It’s pretty wild that when people are panicking about not having enough money for retirement, Republicans in Congress would propose to privatize and cut Social Security,” Murphy told the website.
The fact is, President-elect Donald Trump understands that Social Security is sacrosanct, as do most Republicans. So what Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, and chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee, offered a plan he claims will save Social Security? It does not mean all Republicans favor it. But what Johnson does want is a discussion about a Social Security fund that will be taking on more obligations than bringing in money by 2034. That scenario will mean an automatic 21-percent across-the-board benefit cut.
Rather than play up that aspect of the story, Murphy – who was forced to acknowledge something must be done to save Social Security – automatically engages in the type of fear mongering that does nothing to further a discussion on a vital issue.
Maybe Murphy and others like him need to understand the election season is over and the public is demanding real discourse on sobering issues. It’s time to tear up the Social Security scare card.