When asked what I think of the Republican presidential field, I have said–until now–that I like everyone in it, in various ways. That changed yesterday when Mike Huckabee threw his hat into the ring. A reader expresses my view of Huck:
The Huckster is a left populist. It’s just pro-life statism.
Particularly appalling, as this reader points out, were Huckabee’s promises on Social Security and Medicare:
This is outright left-wing demagoguery, for old white people. It is completely and intentionally dishonest:
[S]enior citizens are one of the groups that Governor Mike Huckabee will be targeting in his newly launched presidential bid. That strategy helps to explain this passage from his announcement speech today:
Some propose that to save safety nets like Medicare and Social Security, we need to chop off the payouts for the people who have faithfully had their paychecks and pockets picked by the politicians promising that their money would be waiting for them when they were old and sick.
Good grief. Has anyone since Roosevelt tried to tell voters that under Social Security, “their money” is “waiting for them” in a government account? Or maybe a “trust fund.” Huckabee continued:
You were forced to pay for Social Security and Medicare for 50 years. The government grabs money from our paychecks and says it will be waiting for us when we turn 65. If Congress wants to take away someone’s retirement, let them end their own Congressional pensions-not your Social Security. As President, I promise you will get what you paid for!
To which our reader responds:
Yeah, baby! Keep your government welfare state away from my Social Security and Medicare! Although…I’m not so sure the Huckster should be “promis[ing] you will get what you paid for.” Know what I mean? We old white people might be surprised and dismayed once we realize what this really is.
Social Security needs to be reformed, and, more important, Medicare needs to be reformed drastically. Otherwise, we are doomed fiscally. It is distinctly unhelpful to have Republican politicians joining with Democrats to demagogue these unsustainable entitlements.
The really sad thing about Huckabee is that he is the most naturally talented politician in the presidential field, on either side.