Axelrod: “This is not the time” to have a plan to reform Social Security

posted at 10:41 am on September 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

David Axelrod ran into a buzz saw this morning, and on MSNBC, of all places.  Time’s Mark Halperin asks a rather predictable question of Axelrod, noting that Barack Obama never mentioned Social Security reform in his 60 Minutes interview last night (and Steve Kroft apparently never asked about it, either).  Where’s the plan, Halperin asks — and Axelrod makes not one but two huge gaffes in answering:

TIME’s MARK HALPERIN: “David – Social Security came up last night on ‘60 Minutes.’ Let me ask you in a second term, what is the president proposing to do to reform Social Security, save it for future generations, and will it involve lower benefits for anyone or higher taxes for anyone?”

OBAMA ADVISER DAVID AXELROD: “Well I think that there, too, Mark, the approach has to be a balanced one. We’ve had discussions in the past. And the question is, can you raise the cap some? Right now Social Security cuts off at a lower point. Can you raise the cap so people in the upper incomes are paying a little more into the program? And do you adjust the growth of the program. That’s a discussion worth having. But again we have to approach it in a balanced way. We’re not going to cut our way to prosperity. We’re not going to cut our way to more secure entitlement programs – Social Security and Medicare. We have to have a balance.”

HALPERIN: “So what is his proposal?”

AXELROD: “Mark, I’ll tell you what, when you get elected to the United States Senate and sit at that table — this is not the time. We’re not going to have that discussion right now unless the Congress wants to sit at a table and says okay we’re ready to move on a balanced approach to this. The reality of Social Security is this is a much less imminent problem than Medicare. We have extended the life of Medicare for close to a decade through the changes that we’ve made and Governor Romney wants to repeal. But Social Security is a more distant problem. One that needs a solution. But it isn’t as pressing as a Medicare issue.”

First, Axelrod insists that “this is not the time” to have a proposal to address the critical unfunded liabilities of Social Security.  Really?  Isn’t an election a time to discuss plans for the nation’s future, especially on pressing fiscal issues?  Furthermore, Obama has been president for most of four years now, and Axelrod is all but admitting that Obama hasn’t got a plan at all on this issue.  He’s tossing the issue back to Congress, and in his snotty way telling Mark Halperin that he doesn’t have any standing even to ask the question.

Next, Axelrod admits that Medicare is a bigger problem.  That’s true, but that’s not been the position of the Obama administration.  They keep claiming that ObamaCare has fixed the problem in the short term and bent the cost curve downward over the long term.  Now Axelrod admits to reality, which is that ObamaCare didn’t help save Medicare at all — and that it’s on the same decade-long trajectory to collapse as it was when Obama took office.

What have we found out from today’s episode of Morning Joe?  Obama has wasted four years while the entitlement collapse continued to pick up steam, and even after four years, he still doesn’t have a plan to address it.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Just WHEN is the right time, then, when it is insolvent?

Amazingoly on September 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

DA is all about the politics of fear and confusion. It will never be time to fix anything since that would take away the topics he uses to create the fear and confusion.

EdmundBurke247 on September 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

AD. NOW. with footage of his golf games – even better.

Also I want to see this brought up by Mitt in the debates. Loudly and forcefully.

No more pillowfight time. These people are incompetent, lazy and arrogant and they need to be FIRED.

Eviva on September 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Memorandum
To: Ed Morrissey
Subj: Hot Air column

Obama has wasted four years while the entitlement collapse continued to pick up steam, and even after four years, he still doesn’t have a plan to address it.

Ed, lets get something clear, eh? HE NEVER INTENDED TO. Anyone who thinks that the state of the economy under Obama is due to incompetence or accident is mistaken. There is nothing accidental or unplanned about anything that has happened. Obama has had a lifelong plan, inherited from his communist father, his communist grandparents, his ditzy mother and all of his Marxist friends, for the destruction of America. He is working that plan and has actually been d*mned successful.

Sincerely,

me

clippermiami on September 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Yup!

Don L on September 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I could be wrong but Obama and democrat party members stealing $760 billion from medicare just might have something to do with it. It sure did NOT help medicare stay viable.

jukin3 on September 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Axlerude is correct, it is not time to have a plan to reform SS. Jan 20th 2013 will be.

Wade on September 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

The time the Obama Machine will address it will be 3 years and 51 weeks after he’s re-elected so he can stick it to Hillary one more time.

NoPain on September 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Axelrod is right, of course. SS is fundamentally sound for the next two decades and the problems are known an easily addressed, once Republicans stop trying to kill the program outright. Medicare is by far the more important issue and the more politically contentious.

urban elitist on September 24, 2012 at 11:28 AM

SS will never be fundamentally sound as long as we let the politicians raid the fund for general fund use.

Wade on September 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

SS will never be fundamentally sound as long as we let the politicians raid the fund for general fund use.

Wade on September 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

It will never be sound if the children of others are the funding source period.

Stealing from the poorer generation to give to the richer generation will never be fundamentally sound. Particularly when people abort the kids who might support them, and then poorly educate those who get past the killing feilds, and those poorly educated kids will never be as capable of defending against a media onslaught of propaganda as they would have been if they were well educated… You see where this is going.

It is not the raiding of the money. It is where the money comes from and where it goes. It drives a perpetual degeneration of future generations that will not end until it all explodes. By the time it explodes, the idea is that the people will be too stupid to resist socialism and communism and the new order of things.

astonerii on September 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

It will never be the right time as far as Dems are concerned.

The magic word of course is “balance”, which is nothing but a platitude. On the other hand, Romney must offer a smorgasbord of specifics. Amazing: Obama and Axelrod do nothing but spew propaganda but get away with condemning others for not nailing it down to nickels and dimes.

Basic reality: both Medicaid and Social Security are on the fast track to bankruptcy. So if now is not the time to discuss reforms, then when?

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on September 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on September 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Death panels are starting to seem more palatable to me… The old people voted themselves the wealth of future generations. Then spent more of the wealth of future generations. Now that there is nothing left… Why keep em alive?

astonerii on September 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Just WHEN is the right time, then, when it is insolvent?

Amazingoly on September 24, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Unfortunately, yep. He is right about Medicare being more immenent.

riverrat10k on September 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM

What have we found out from today’s episode of Morning Joe? Obama has wasted four years while the entitlement collapse continued to pick up steam, and even after four years, he still doesn’t have a plan to address it.

You may have just found that out, but I have known that for several years now.

Theophile on September 25, 2012 at 3:21 AM

Comment pages: 1 2