Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive running who is Connecticut’s Republican senate nominee, is earning the respect of her state’s Tea Party, according to an article in the Connecticut Mirror today. And one of her chief selling points is her anti-government spending stance.
“Stop the spending, we can’t afford it,” she has said. “And that’s where I think the focus is in this country.” McMahon actually believes that the government should never, ever run a deficit, even when there is an economic downturn, which is a nutty idea that even a former staffer for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) calls “stupid.”
But as the Mirror noted, McMahon does not lay out any “specifics about what she would cut.” And when it comes to the big entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which amount to about forty percent of the federal budget — McMahon not only doesn’t offer specifics, but flat-out refuses to discuss them at all:
“I can certainly tell you I’m not adverse to talking in the right time or forum about what we need to do relative to our entitlements,” McMahon said in an interview. “I mean, Social Security is going to go bankrupt. Clearly, we have to strengthen that…I just don’t believe that the campaign trail is the right place to talk about that.”
It’s vital to know exactly what McMahon would do to “strengthen” Social Security, as she has expressed sympathy with “some of” Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Roadmap for America, which privatizes Social Security. (It also, of course, increases taxes on 90 percent of Americans while still losing a dramatic amount of revenue.)
When she was asked for specific spending cuts by the New York Times’ John Harwood, McMahon replied with the boilerplate GOP response of a spending freeze and cutting the public sector workforce, while failing to touch on the structural problems in the budget (health care spending, giant tax cuts, and defense spending). Like Florida’s Republican senate nominee Marco Rubio, she seems to advocate balancing the budget on pipe dreams, or she’s actually in favor of huge entitlement cuts but, knowing how unpopular that is, won’t say it.
Considering that a whole host of Republican senate nominees — including Pat Toomey (PA), Rand Paul (KY), Sharron Angle (NV) and Rubio — have suggested either privatizing or slashing Social Security, McMahon should have to lay out what she means by “sort of” embracing Ryan’s radical plan for Social Security. And if a campaign isn’t the appropriate time to do it, when is?