Not long ago on the radio program, we were discussing the need for honesty about our current entitlement state. I was lamenting the fact that no one wants to dare mention the reality that Social Security is insolvent and must be dealt with. No one wants to mention the fact that it was a bad idea to begin with.government should not be in the business of providing retirement for the masses because government can't predict the future.
But even conservative Republicans feel the need to defend the bad scheme because if they don't, Democrats will use it as a wedge issue to scare seniors with mistruths into the voting booth.
On the show, I called for a new era of Democrat responsibility on that issue. If we're going to solve the problem, we can't be jumping to conclusions and twisting words and intent of our political opposition just to get elected.
When I saw recent comments from House Democrat leader Steny Hoyer, I had to fight my own temptation to do the same:
The second-ranking House Democrat said Monday that President Obama's move to freeze the pay of civilian federal employees should also be extended to military personnel.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said including the military would have increased savings and add "an element of fairness." He made the comments in a statement about he president's announcement of a two-year pay freeze.
My immediate, gut reaction was to jump on this and say, "Here's another example of the Democrats always wanting to gut national security and hurt our military and troops." But remembering my words about not taking advantage of wedge issues, I read on:
"While I appreciate that the president reduced the length of his proposed pay freeze from three to two years," Hoyer said in a statement, "it would have produced significantly more savings had that sacrifice been shared between federal civilian and military personnel ? with a strong exception for the members of our military and civilian employees risking their lives on our behalf in Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere else they are serving in harm's way."
To borrow a line from the President, "let me be clear." I'm not saying I agree with Hoyer. I don't even really know what military personnel he's talking about. Without more specifics it is hard to come to a conclusion about how I feel on his proposal. But Hoyer was clear that he wasn't intending to defund the troops or cut pay for those in combat. He and fellow Democrats deserve not to be tarred and feathered for "not supporting our troops" until we at least understand what they're saying.