Mike McFadden won't talk specifics on Social Security, but seniors want him to

Categories: Politics

mikeMcfadden.jpg
Mike McFadden

Senate candidate Mike McFadden gave an extensive interview to MinnPost's Eric Black last week, but what was most jarring about the chat was the candidate's refusal to give specifics about his policy positions on one issue -- Social Security.

McFadden started off by saying he wanted to reform the program, along with Medicare, soon, telling Black: "My proposal is that we address it now, in a bipartisan fashion and that every issue is on the table."

See also:
MIchele Bachmann, defying critics, calls Social Security a fraud

To his credit, McFadden did talk about changing Medicare, including raising the age of eligibility. But despite many repeated pushes from Black, McFadden never gives a specific proposal for fixing Social Security, instead just repeatedly insisting that "we have a problem" with the programs and that "all options need to be on the table."

What the whole exercise amounts to is McFadden trying to have it both ways with his base. McFadden wants to show that he's serious about the reining in the deficit, even if it does require some sacrifice. But he also doesn't want to get senior citizens -- a major part of the Republican base -- upset in the process.

We reached out to McFadden and his campaign repeatedly to try to get a firm answer from them, seeing if they endorsed any specific policies to reform Social Security (like increasing the age of eligibility or changing the cost of living adjustment). Unfortunately, we didn't hear anything back.

But the conversation about reforming Social Security is important, and surprisingly, it's something senior citizens want to talk about. Will Phillips, the state director for AARP, told us that what he hears from members across the state is that the attitude isn't simply "We want our Social Security."

"Our members have told us they want a debate," Phillips says. "So to the extent that our members have expressed frustration about the inaction in Washington, we share those sentiments."

As for exactly what sorts of policies are palatable, Phillips says that the AARP has certain principles it's sticking to right now: It wants Social Security to keep up with inflation, and they don't want a proposal that hurts benefits for those who are currently receiving them. And what seniors don't want, he says, is something like the "chained CPI" proposal, which would lead to benefits increasing at a slower rate over time.

"So we don't believe that [a new proposal] should come as cuts to benefits from current beneficiaries, like chained CPI," says Phillips.

That leaves limited options, but there are options nonetheless. And if seniors are willing to have a real conversation, that means the ball's now in McFadden's court.


Send your story tips to the author, Robbie Feinberg. Follow him on Twitter @robbiefeinberg.




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15 comments
Emily Scott
Emily Scott

Stick with Fox News then... Know a locust(sorry lobbyist) that would be on your side.. Super class you used children for your agenda..

Emily Scott
Emily Scott

Love dvr.. So don't have to watch commercials.. In the words of Simpsons.. Worst commercial ever

Maurice Anderson
Maurice Anderson

He is just another libertarian-tea party douche. Minnesota is better than that. Vote!

juliemcjones
juliemcjones

fake Michelle Bachman needs to take an Anger Management course stat.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Sheree, we will never get out what we put in, that's the point.

Sheree Schad
Sheree Schad

Social security is a fund that is paid for by employees and their employers and was never to be touched for any other reason, it has nothing to do with 'government money' and the government was never supposed to touch it, but they did. They gutted 2.5 trillion from the fund and they will never pay us back. The next generation has to work to earn their Social Security check just like us older citizens did. You get out what you put in.

Andrew Olson
Andrew Olson

Please phase social security out. Somebody needs to stand up and not give the next generation a bigger bill.

Sco Kel
Sco Kel

Waste of read time. McFadden didn't start the fire. City pages has such an obvious agenda. ... Dfl propaganda fish wrap factory.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

Chances are, he wants to "privatize" Social Security, just like Bush/Cheney wanted, and hand the money over to his/their Wall Street buddies. Where it will unaccountantably vanish.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Amazing how these rich assholes think the solution to problems is taking away benefits from the people so they can keep being a rich asshole.   What is wrong with the chumps that vote for people like this?      His refusal to answer questions about Social Security means he wants to take it from you.   Rich assholes like McFadden think everyone should suffer except the rich.    Vote DFL and raise taxes on the rich.  

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Remove the cap on income subject to Social Security taxation.  Problem solved.

mn_read
mn_read

@swmnguy so do you then boost the benefits that those who pay more taxes get?  It's proportional to what you paid in, so doesn't this just magnify the issue.  Or are you thinking raise the income tax on SS but not the benefits, a more socialist redistribution approach? 

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