The 3rd Rail - McConnell Touches It 3 Weeks Out


Stupidity knows no bounds.

Newsweek headline from 17 hours ago: “McConnell Calls For Cuts to Social Security And Medicare”

Yesterday, Mitch McConnell stated to Newsweek’s Nicole Goodkind, the only way to reduce the federal deficit is by cutting Medicare and Social Security.

McConnell, of course, is 100% correct. But, holy crap, McConnell opens this can of worms for Republican candidates across the nation 3 weeks out from the midterms - Just when Republicans are gaining steam. The timing could not be worse.

To use a football analogy: It’s like fumbling the ball at the one yard line as you are getting ready to score the game-winning touchdown.



Oh I think there are many things that can be cut before going to the third rail.

Yeah, he sure can be a dunce. Looks like he wants to sit back and relax for a few years and let Chucky actually be the man running the senate.


What McConnell and other Republicans refer to as “cuts” is extending the age of eligibility to account for changing age demographics.

Yes, there are other “cuts” that could be made, but none that would adequately address the $775 billion annual deficit.

However, the point is - why in the hell would anyone of sound mind touch this “3rd rail” at this time? It is truly mindboggling.


Unbelievable! the democrats, who have nothing of substance to run on, will pick up the ball and run with this. Republicans, doing what they do best: grasping defeat from the jaws of victory.



It really doesn’t matter how the Social Security deduction is done, it qualifies as a “cut” and the Democrats can run with it. I’m sure they have already prepared the TV ads and are getting out to the stations by now.


And no one will stand up for fiscal responsibility ever again… Until we’re broke. Then the opposition party will blame the current president. Good times.

Even the former party of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility cannot utter realistic assessments of the budget without catching it from their own side. But I suppose that’s because it’s the former party of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, a shadow of Newt Gingrich’s Republicans.


Gimme a break. Of course balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility should be discussed, BUT NOT 3 WEEKS BEFORE AN ELECTION AND CERTAINLY NOT MENTIONING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.


Yes, OD - you get it - it is the timing of the statement that is the problem. However, RWN has a point - both parties have a poor record regarding fiscal responsibility. There is no doubt, adjustments to Soc Sec/Medicare have to be made based on age demographics. I hope after the midterms our leaders will place these programs on a more fiscally sound footing.

Do I think this will actually take place?

Hell no. Dems use it as a wedge issue - recall granny and her wheelchair being pushed over a cliff - and Repubs are too frightened of the political backlash to promote a serious bill.


BS is BS! Medicare and Social Security should NEVER be part of the federal budget! They are NOT financed by taxes, but by CONTRIBUTIONS paid over a lifetime by eventual recipients. It was DEMOCRATS who took the trust funds set up for both Medicare and Social Security and required that the “excess” funds be “invested” in T-Bills…that is, excess funds beyond what is required to pay CURRENT obligations. We all know where the revenue goes from the sale of T-Bills…into the GENERAL REVENUES to be spent by CONGRESS, just like the revenues from tariffs, excise taxes and INCOME taxes plus all the various “fees”, “licenses” and “penalties” imposed on people BY the government. Adding the federal, State, local and unique entities taxes up amounts to an average of more than 50% of EVERYONE’S incomes that goes to support SOME form of government. If you’re making the national average of $45K, does it seem that YOU are getting $22.5K-worth of “services” from the various levels of government???

My point is, Medicare and Social Security should NEVER be considered “on-budget” items. They are financed 100% by “contributions” from the eventual recipients over their lifetimes…even those who die and never collect any of the “benefits” from those contributions. If Americans were allowed to plunk the 17%+ of their incomes taken by Medicare and Social Security into simple passbook accounts with compound interest, which Albert Einstein said was “the greatest invention in human history”, EVERY American could retire millionaires or pass their savings on to their heirs–which Medicare and Social Security prohibit except for wives or husbands, and then only SS.


Well, duh. Anybody that thinks SS and medicare are run for the benefit of the beneficiaries and not as a congressional slush fund should contact me immediately about purchasing some beachfront property in Nebraska. Of course congress is going to raise age of beneficence! They need half of people to drop dead before they reach it, and the rest to die off within a very few years after reaching it.


Social Security is not the “3rd Rail”, I have heard that since the 80’s but Bush 43 won the White House twice with Social Security reform as a primary issue; he never got Congress to do it but but championing the issue as the Left spread doom about his ideas didn’t keep him from winning.

I can’t believe I just defended McConnell, that make twice in one month; that means he must be getting ready to REALLY push a Leftist idea of some kind down our throats.


I want some beachfront property! :crazy_face:


Soc Sec/Medicare are NOT 100% financed by contributions from the eventual recipients. As is often the case, what should be, Pappadave, and what is - in this case - are two different things.

But, back to the main point of the post - to open a dialogue regarding this supercharged, largely emotion driven issue 3 weeks from an election is simply stupid - even if McConnell is correct in his assessment - which he is.


Wrong, Doc. Nothing goes into these funds other than the contributions of those receiving or destined to receive their benefits…period. They will eventually run dry of cash, but today, contributions via Medicare and SS deductions ARE the only money going into both programs.


The mere fact that these “funds” will run dry of cash - as you phrased it - is a clear indication that less cash (participant/recipient contribution) goes in them than is paid out to recipients. Hardly a 100% funded by participants situation.


Are you NOT paying attention? The ONLY money that goes into those “trust funds” comes from contributions…period. Today, the money going in exceeds the amount of money necessary to pay the “benefits” of current recipients. The excess goes into T-Bills which are merely government IOUs.


You and I will simply have to agree to disagree, PD.


They put in funds from general revenue too:

During 2011 and 2012, the premiums that workers pay for Social Security protection were temporarily reduced from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The lost revenue from this “payroll tax holiday”—$103 billion in 2011 and $114 billion in 2012—was made up from the government’s general fund.


The problem is that the ones who paid in are not the only recipients. It’s well known that Congress has raided SS quite a bit.


All that happened during those two years was that the general fund paid BACK a little bit of the money that Congress has stolen from both trusts over the years.