This should come as little surprise to anyone who follows Iowa’s junior senator. Since Ernst is someone who has been bankrolled by the Koch brothers and the NRA, it is hardly surprising that she is more than willing to make her bones on the backs of Iowa’s seniors.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said at a recent town hall that lawmakers should discuss fixing Social Security “behind closed doors,” prompting a wave of criticism from liberal and advocacy groups.
Ernst, who is running for reelection in 2020, made the remarks Saturday, according to a video posted by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. The comments began to receive broader attention after they were reported Wednesday by the liberal news website Iowa Starting Line.
Ernst told the audience in Estherville that “there is a point in time when we as Congress will have to address the situation. And I think it’s better done sooner rather than later, to make sure that we’ve shored up that system.”
One of the reasons that Ernst and her Republican colleagues are so fearful of talking about Social Security openly and will only talk about it behind closed doors is that their only solution is to cut benefits. Not a one would even so much as utter the thought of raising the cap for the FICA tax that funds the Social Security system. Their owners – Charles Koch and the estate of the late David Koch – won’t let them.
For one thing, doing the public’s business behind closed doors is anathema to democracy. Joni Ernst and her Republican colleagues should be thoroughly admonished for that. Unless the subject is national security, there is nothing that should make a public servant retreat behind closed doors. Yet that is operating mode for the Republican Party especially when they are making policy to benefit the top 1% and screw the rest of us.
Raising the cap on taxable income for Social Security has been shown over and over and over again to be the simple and sensible solution to a pending Social Security shortfall. Republicans refuse to even allow such a solution to be brought up.
So Ernst’s solution is to hide behind closed doors, make policy and spring it on an unsuspecting public with little warning and most likely a big advertising campaign to sell the public on getting screwed once more by Republicans. This has been a common theme and practice since introduction of the Reagan economy.
Ernst stands fully behind the Chosen One’s disastrous tariff policies that will wreak havoc on Iowa’s farms and farming communities. Now she calls for making policy behind closed doors that will royally screw Iowa’s present and future seniors. Add in her staunch defense of the NRA’s stand on keeping weapons of mass murder available for public sale to anyone and I hope we have the makings of a former senator. These are not policies that Iowans want no matter how hard they try to sell them.
Raw Story’s take on the Ernst plan to do SS cuts on the QT:
According to the Washington Post, Ernst is begging Republicans not to talk about the cuts to Medicare and Social Security in public as she heads into election season. The moment came during a town hall meeting as the senator was in her home state during the August Recess and was captured on video by trackers at the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.
They noted in their tweet of the video that Ernst’s ideas of privatizing Social Security or gutting it along with Medicare are “so toxic, she wants to keep it a secret to avoid ‘media scrutiny.”
“There is a point in time when we as Congress will have to address the situation,” she said. “And I think it’s better done sooner rather than later, to make sure that we’ve shored up that system.”
“So it’s, you know, a broader discussion for another day,” she continued. “But I do think, as various parties and members of Congress, we need to sit down behind closed doors so we’re not being scrutinized by this group or the other, and just have an open and honest conversation about what are some of the ideas that we have for maintaining Social Security in the future.”
In response Democratic senatorial contender Theresa Greenfield responded on Twitter:
“The only people squealing from Joni Ernst’s toxic record are Iowans who rely on Social Security. We work hard for these earned benefits and deserve better than a senator who plays games with retirement security.”
Stated simply, this stinks to high heaven. There is an obvious reason Ernst and her Republican colleagues want to keep it hidden from the public: it is bad policy. Talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare (that would be part of the package) shortly after giving America’s richest a huge tax cut that they then used to enhance their own wealth by using that tax cut for stock buy backs is very unseemly.
As the old saying goes – sunlight is the best disinfectant. Seems like Joni the Phony could use a strong dose of sunlight. Maybe the sunlight will make her squeal.
Cartoonist Mike Lukovich had a great cartoon after the huge tax cut for the rich was passed a couple of years ago. It fits so well here. And a big tip of the hat to Mike Lukovich:
Don’t forget – Joni Ernst would vote for another budget busting, deficit growing, debt compounding tax cut for the rich in a New York second while at the same time preaching belt tightening to Iowa’s seniors.