Bachmann weighs in on “monstrous lie”-like Social Security rhetoric

posted at 8:05 pm on September 9, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Michele Bachmann has been called a “bomb-thrower” before — she’s not exactly known for her diplomacy — but, when it comes to Social Security, she says no need exists to scare people with extreme rhetoric. Is that a reference to Rick Perry’s refreshing talk of monstrous lies and Ponzi schemes? Sure — but Bachmann also skillfully made it about the president.

O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa reports:

Without naming competitor Rick Perry (although I did in the questions), Bachmann said federal policymakers have to “keep faith” with current Social Security beneficiaries.  ”That’s wrong for any candidate to make senior citizens believe that they should be nervous about something they have come to count on. We need not do that, but I think at the same time we also outline our positive solutions,” Bachmann said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.” …

My direction question to her was this: ”Do you think your party needs to be equally careful in its messaging on Social Security? Using phrases like ‘monstrous lie’ — do you think that is good messaging?”

“I think that it is not good when President Obama, for instance, made the comment — recklessly, in my opinion — that seniors may not get their Social Security checks in August when we were dealing with the debt ceiling debate,” Bachmann said. “That was irresponsible for the president to do that. He created a great deal of fear.

As Politico’s Alexander Burns relays, Bachmann wasn’t the only candidate (Newt, too!) to add to the growing chorus about Social Security — a chorus that says Social Security is firmly established and not a program Republicans can talk recklessly about abolishing (which Perry has not done) or reforming (which he has done) without facing some kind of political fallout. Burns puts it this way:

Perry has actually used similar language to explain that despite his criticism of Social Security’s creation in the New Deal era, he intends to focus on the challenge of how to make the program solvent now. But the fact that new candidates are coming off the sidelines to defend Social Security suggests that Romney isn’t the only one who sees Perry’s stance on the program as a political loser.

It’s helpful to remember that Democrats, too, are vulnerable on entitlements. That is, as Bachmann pointed out, when the president makes it apparent that he’s willing to use Social Security to score political points, he reveals his relative indifference to the actual solvency of the program. (After all, if he cared about that, he would make good on his talk of entitlement reform and work to actually accomplish it!) And as more and more Americans learn the facts about entitlement programs — and Perry’s shockingly true statements about the Ponzi scheme structure of SS will go a long way to ensure they do — they’ll realize to just what extent Dems do just use entitlements to score political points. The choice, as has been said, is not between entitlement programs as we know them now or reformed programs. The choice is between no programs (thanks to impending insolvency!) or reformed programs. Entitlement reform has never been a winning platform, but it should be and Perry — with the shield of the Texas miracle — just might be the candidate to make it be.


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Comment pages: 1 2

If the GOP treats abolishing social security as too politically incorrect, then who will talk about it? The GOP – the Democrats lite. Taste great. Less filling.

keep the change on September 9, 2011 at 8:14 PM

Yeah. But as long as “we” beat Obama — and I assume that means the Republican party — we’ll be okay./

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM

How would most Americans actually feel about that? And to be honest, I don’t think that one party could do that anyway, it would take a bipartisan effort and I don’t think that is very realistic.

I do think Americans are more ready for serious entitlement reform today than they have ever been…but abolition is not reform.

Terrye on September 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I do think Americans are more ready for serious entitlement reform today than they have ever been…but abolition is not reform.

Terrye on September 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM

That’s arguing over semantics. I happen to be for the abolition of anything that is unconstitutional, and that probably means about 90-95% of our current governmental structure.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I do think Americans are more ready for serious entitlement reform today than they have ever been…but abolition is not reform.

Terrye on September 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM

That’s arguing over semantics. I happen to be for the abolition of anything that is unconstitutional, and that probably means about 90-95% of our current governmental structure.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 5:10 PM

It might be semantics to you, but the rest of the American people might not feel that way. In fact, I think that as far as most Americans are concerned the whole issue of constitutionality is settled.

One reason Americans got so angry with the Democrats was that the Democrats shoved Obamacare down their throats even after people made it clear that they did not want it..but the Democrats were ideologically driven and they believed they had their chance and they were not going to let it get by…and look how that turned out.

Would Americans be anymore interested in conservatives or Republicans advancing a policy that the American people had made plain they did not want?

Terrye on September 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Would Americans be anymore interested in conservatives or Republicans advancing a policy that the American people had made plain they did not want?

Terrye on September 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM

That depends on what that policy involves. The constitution is supposed to be a framework for what constitutes the binding law of the land, irrespective of what the people and their elected representatives “want.” If the people want statism, then the idea of America and American greatness is long-since dead.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 6:18 PM

There is no way that SS will be stopped. Our SS is a money flow directly into the treasury for the politicians to spend. Johnson gutted the fund with his war on poverty and now it is a money source to fund illegals. Some claim that SS is an entitlement program but it is not but it has been carved up so much into different programs that are just that.

mixplix on September 11, 2011 at 6:45 AM

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