The remarks came during a town hall event in April with local Tea Party groups, but went largely ignored until The Huffington Post flagged the comment yesterday.
At the April Tea Party gathering, McMahon said in response to a question about how to “strengthen” Social Security and Medicare that “we cannot continue doing things the way we are doing with Social Security. We’re just simply going to be bankrupt.”
The candidate later continued, “In other words, I believe in sunset provisions when we pass this kind of legislation, so that you take a look at it 10, 15 years down the road to make sure that it’s still going to fund itself. Social Security will run out of money if we continue to do what we’re doing, if we rob the trust fund, if we think that there’s any money there.”
Sunset provisions, like the one attached to the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year, require congressional action by a determined date or else the legislation it is attached to expires. Attaching one to Social Security would place the long-term future of the program in jeopardy.
McMahon has already run into some difficulty convincing voters that she isn’t out of touch with the needs of middle class families. Thanks to the low tax rates on investments made by her and her husband, McMahon paid a tax rate of just 15 percent her $30.6 million income in 2010, the most recent year for which she has released her returns. Like fellow millionaire Mitt Romney, McMahon is campaigning on a promise to oppose any increase on her own taxes.