Grab your sandwich and be sure to check out this Conservative Review exclusive interview with GOP presidential primary candidate Mike Huckabee and the CR’s Steve Deace.
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1) Recently you discussed entitlement reform, and your belief these programs need to be maintained as a matter of trust between government and the people. Yet, we are currently in a $128 trillion cash-flow deficit to maintain the size of our government in the next couple of decades, and these programs are by far the biggest expense. And that doesn’t even count the $18 trillion we’re currently in debt at the moment. Two years ago you backed Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform. What’s changed since then?
Social Security and Medicare are not voluntary programs, but are based on involuntary confiscation of every paycheck with the promise that there will be benefits in 50 years when one retires. The government does enough lying and stealing, and if for 50 years the government takes money from us with a promise to return it and fails to return the money or keep the promise, the individual shouldn’t be played for a chump. I never embraced the details of Ryan’s plan. I applauded him for putting something on the table. It’s clear that without growth in the economy or a different means of funding and protecting the contributions, the programs would be jeopardized in the future. That is not the fault of the American worker, but the government. Making the problem worse is adding a disastrous program like Obamacare, and robbing $700 billion from Medicare to help pay for it. Robbing people of the benefits they have contributed to is not a solution—it’s an escape from one. Bringing reforms is something we can all be for—but simply breaking the promises after years of promises is not something Republicans should embrace.
2) Where do you believe we are as a country?
I believe we are in a very dangerous place as a country, both domestically and internationally. Domestically, workers in the bottom 90% of the workforce have had stagnant wages for over 40 years. 93 million Americans are jobless, and many have lost ground by going from full-time jobs with benefits, to two part-time jobs without benefits. On the world stage, our friends no longer trust us and our enemies don’t respect or fear us. We’ve abandoned the building blocks of civilization such as marriage and the sanctity of human life. We can’t survive many more leadership failures as we’ve had for the past six years.