Friday, April 18, 2008

Dancing on the Third Rail: Jenkins & Ryun Battling About Social Security

This whole mess for 2nd District Republicans just gets worse and worse, and today former Congressman Jim Ryun took what was, until this point, a fairly clear victory for his side and just screwed it all up.

Let us explain.

In an article that appeared in this morning's Topeka Capitol-Journal, the MSM picked up Ryun's complaint Jenkins has been traveling the district lobbying for an increase in Social Security taxes- even though she signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Kyle Robertson, Ryun's campaign manager, said adaptation of the state model to the federal system would mandate a tax increase on all contributors to Social Security.

"We don't think raising taxes and cutting benefits is the approach," he said.

[...]

Application of the KPERS model to Social Security would "recklessly raise taxes by $234 billion over five years," Robertson said.

Jenkins, of course, backtracked almost instantly, saying something along the lines of "Yes, I said that, but that's not what I meant."
Leopold clarified in an interview that Jenkins was speaking at the GOP event about an avenue for resolving gridlock on Social Security, "not the actual plan" adopted for KPERS.
Uh, what? So, she was talking about a solution for Social Security but not a plan to reach her solution? Lord, Leopold, this is the big leagues, put on your big boy pants. It was oh so clear from the transcript of the event what Jenkins said:
"They pay a little extra because they're going to get a little extra [from KPERS]," she said during the appearance. "We need to take that approach and apply it to Social Security."
As the Jenkins camp is trying desperately to spin back the fact she forgot she promised not to raise taxes when she suggested the government raise taxes, the Ryun campaign should have just stayed quiet and let her bleed to death.

Did they? Oh no. Instead, they jumped on the live wire, too, and reminded us all they want to do the single most risky thing being tossed around about Social Security: Privatize it.
Ryun, seeking to recapture the 2nd District seat he lost in 2006, said part of the solution was to give workers authority to invest some of their Social Security contributions in personal accounts[...]

[...]

In a 2005 meeting in Topeka on Social Security, Ryun said creation of these personal accounts would "provide a greater retirement" for Americans. In 1996, Ryun also supported "compassionate privatization of both Medicare and Social Security," but his campaign staff said the term privatization didn't reflect Ryun's present thinking on the issue.
God bless the GOP as the Kings of Semantics. Fine, don't like "privatize" anymore, Jim? He wants to increase personal control over Social Security and allow monies to be invested in the stock market, which, particularly for people on a fixed income, could devastate their only safety net if our economy turns sour. A funny thing to advocate as the economy turns sour.

Jenkins lied to her would-be constituents when she signed a pledge not to increase taxes- that's a flip-flop of a dramatic extreme. Ryun, on the other hand, wants to thrust our elderly to the wolves and let them fend for themselves against the Market.

Welcome to a second term, Congresswoman Boyda.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey... john mccain wants to privatize it too... seems like another republican talking point

Jeff Black said...

(Throws hands in the air)

Oh for the love of God.

When speaking on Social Security the only words out of a candidate's mouth should be: "I will fight to strengthen Social Security to ensure it's existence". Then drop the microphone and walk away.

It a good thing Rep Boyda has no intention of making the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Letting a tax cut sunset is a tax increase. You can spin it however you want, but without the extra $500 deduction on my taxes this year I would have been in a higher tax bracket and would have owed instead of getting a return.

I don't like either Jim or Lynn's plans (or ideas or non-plans or however they're going to run away from this), but Lynn's seem to echo what the UAW recently did regarding health care.

Until recently, UAW members made no contribution to their health care, the Big Three paid the full expense. When the contracts were renegotiated recently UAW members were made responsible for 30% of their health insurance costs, just like Federal employees. To offset the added expense the current workers received a raise so their "take home pay" remained the same. It was a compassionate compromise because who on a budget could take a $500 a month hit? New hires would would just be responsible for it from the beginning, like most employees.

That solution (and the KPERS solution) won't work for Social Security because the Federal government can't mandate private businesses to give all their employees raises. Yet, if they could reduce my "income tax withholdings" to offset the increase to "social security withholdings" so my take home pay was the same and SS was preserved, 95%of Americans would never know the difference.

But that would make WAY to much sense.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you visit, Jeff...you liven the day.

Boyda (and the Democrats) aren't letting the Bush tax cuts sunset on folks like you and me....but they are, indeed, letting them sunset for the wealthiest Americans. That's a tax increase I do not mind.

In the end, you're right, Jenkins is much more reasonable than Ryun is on this whole mess, but that's not what this is about- this is about Jenkins- a Republican- encouraging an increase in taxes during a Republican primary after she signed a pledge not to.

Anonymous said...

So you admit .... regardless who it is on .... that Boyda is favor of increasing taxes

Anonymous said...

Mr. Robertson, your boy Jim Ryun ,ust now and throughout the campaign answer question about his connections to and funding from people like Jack Abramhoff and Tom DeLay.

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