October 25, 2014


GOP changes tune on cutting Social Security with elections on the line (Lori Montgomery October 23, 2014, Washington Post)

Older voters typically dominate the electorate in non-presidential years, so the resort to Social Security as an issue in the Nov. 4 midterms is hardly surprising. But what has drawn attention - and charges of hypocrisy - is the decision by Republican groups to attack Democrats for supporting conservative ideas in a proposed "grand bargain" on the budget drafted by Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming.

Once venerated in both parties as a good-faith proposal, the Bowles-Simpson plan calls for political compromise to rein in the $17.9 trillion national debt, which was dangerously elevated by the recent recession. Republicans would raise taxes, the theory goes, in exchange for Democrats cutting health and retirement spending. Among its proposals: trim Social Security benefits for well-off seniors, raise the retirement age to 69 by 2075 and adopt the new inflation measure, known as the chained Consumer Price Index, or chained CPI.

Both Crossroads GPS and NRCC, the party's campaign arm for House races, have cited Democrats' support for Bowles-Simpson as the basis of their charges on Social Security, though many Republicans -- including Rove -- have criticized President Obama for failing to support the Bowles-Simpson package.

A spokesman for Crossroads GPS declined to comment. 

Posted by at October 25, 2014 6:33 AM

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