Someone Really Needs a Policy Briefing

(H/T Berry Laker)

Jonathan Krause points out a moment on his Oshkosh radio show which should have many a res­i­dent in Wisconsin’s 8th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict — par­tic­u­larly the elderly and those pay­ing FICA taxes — won­der­ing the intel­li­gence of their Congressman.

I asked Con­gress­man Steve Kagen about the Social Secu­rity insol­vency “cri­sis” yes­ter­day dur­ing his weekly con­fer­ence call. He believes the only thing we need to do to fix SSI is to “get the econ­omy going again so we can col­lect those taxes.” That reveals a dis­turb­ing lack of under­stand­ing of the real prob­lem with the Social Secu­rity sys­tem. Per­haps if we changed the name to reflect what it really is (a pop­u­lar gim­mick with the Obama White House)–the Fed­eral Retire­ment Ponzi Scheme–then every­one would under­stand the under­ly­ing issues here.”

This isn’t the first time (nor will it hardly be the last) the good doc­tor has made a total fool of him­self over Social Secu­rity and other enti­tle­ment pro­grams.  Recall that last year, the Jour­nal Sen­tinel asked the entire Wis­con­sin con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion to talk about the com­ing enti­tle­ment fund­ing short­fall; then asked schol­ars to grade their answers.

Her­itage Foun­da­tion Fel­low and Wis­con­sin native Brian Riedl, did just that. Here’s what he said on Kagen.

Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Appleton) gave the most bizarre response of all. Asked how to solve Social Secu­rity and Medicare’s deficits, he ignored the ques­tion and instead recited unre­lated talk­ing points on energy inde­pen­dence, oil drilling, and health care acces­si­bil­ity. Rep. Kagen’s response failed to dis­play even an ele­men­tary under­stand­ing of Social Secu­rity and Medicare reform. Grade: F

So kudos for Krause for again high­light­ing how often Con­gress­man Kagen doesn’t know what the heck he’s talk­ing about.

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  • Ken Van Doren

    If it is not already, being an advo­cate of Big Gov­ern­ment will not be an easy task. With the eco­nomic down­turn, it is likely that gov­ern­ment will cost on the order of 70% of our econ­omy, up from about 54% a cou­ple years ago. And given that ALL pub­lic expenses are ulti­mately paid out of prof­its from the pri­vate sec­tor, it should be obvi­ous that the best stim­u­lus pro­gram has to be to leave more money IN the pri­vate sec­tor, so it can cre­ate the wealth needed to sup­port both pub­lic and pri­vate.
    So is Kagan stu­pid, or does he want to ride this pony into the dirt, post­pon­ing indef­i­nitely, or at least until his watch is over, the real costs of all the pro­grams he supports?

    I sus­pect we have passed the tip­ping point, and the econ­omy will have to crash, and all the give away pro­grams with it, before we can build an econ­omy on a sound and sus­tain­able basis.