Fred Thompson Signals His Fiscal Policy

Susan Saulny uses GOP approached spin to discuss how Fred Thompson might tackle the deficit problem:

He also signaled that he would try to rein in ballooning entitlement costs. “The politicians have been quite busy, quite busy, spending the next generations’ money,” he said, adding later: “We need to deliver a message to Washington that we’re better than that. And you can start delivering that message by electing a president who will blow the whistle on this lack of responsibility. And I’m the guy who will do that.”

Dean Baker writes with more clarity:

Social Security and Medicare are enormously important to the health and economic security of tens of millions of citizens. If a central theme of Mr. Thompson’s campaign is that he wants to cut these programs, then the media should make this fact clear to the public. In comparison to plans to cut these programs, almost anything else that the media might say about Thompson is trivial. Political reporters should devote their efforts to clarifying Mr. Thompson’s position on Social Security and Medicare rather than worrying about his similarities with Ronald Reagan.

I can understand why a true fiscal conservative might wish to cut Federal spending rather than the Faustian choice of raising tax rates or watching deferred tax obligations balloon. But let’s be clear – this GOP proposal amounts to either: (1) eliminating that Prescription Drug Benefit that George Bush loves to brag about, or (2) taking away what you thought were your payroll contributions to your future Social Security retirement benefits. But what else is left when one considers the future DoD budgets that would be necessitated from this neocon nonsense:

In his debut speech as an official contender for the Republican nomination, Mr. Thompson appeared before a crowd here and seemed more animated than usual, gesticulating with a closed fist at a lectern as he spoke of radical Islam, porous national borders and what he described as ineffective government bureaucracies in Washington. More than anything, he said he was concerned about “national safety” and its effect on the kind of world his young children would inherit. That is what prompted him to run, he said. “My friends, if we show weakness and division, we will pay a heavy price for it in the future,” Mr. Thompson said. “We must show the determination that we are going to be united as the American people and do what is necessary to prevail not only in Iraq but in the worldwide conflict that lies beyond Iraq.”

I wonder if the new supply-side silliness is that more DoD spending will lead to faster growth, more revenues, and deficit reduction? Spend&spend and Borrow&borrow.