It seems that we are still waiting for the central casting candidate. Republicans are unsure and Democrats are beginning to disbelieve the “inevitability” argument around Hillary Clinton. We are a society that loves to build them up to tear them down.
First, Fred Thompson was a buzz, and then we were waiting and waiting and waiting for him to get into the race. When he got in, we started thinking that he looked tired or was slow. We said he had a great website, but where was the meat? Now he has put the most detailed and most conservative solutions on his website and we are still tearing him down. Through all of this, he has been the most consistently conservative candidate throughout his career of any of the candidates in the race today.
Even Rush Limbaugh in the recapping of the CNN/”Youboob” Debate, had to say that he was the only conservative in the top 4 or 5 candidates. There are only 8 in the race — so that is pretty much everybody — he is the most conservative.
Now the predictions are that if Fred doesn’t make it in Iowa, he’s done. Fred Thompson may be the “Rodney Dangerfield” of candidates but he deserves respect and maybe the presidency — here’s why.
In the long and winding road of disappointment in the domestic policy of the Bush Administration, Fred Thompson is leading the pack on policy “White Papers.” The two most important on the domestic side of things are regarding Social Security and Taxation. Had President Bush not squandered his majority, these problems should have been resolved so they “wouldn’t be left to the next president.” President Bush showed no conviction on making tax cuts permanent or on Social Security reform which were cornerstones of BOTH of his presidential campaigns.
Maybe I am just getting older, but I have no patience with the wink and a nod business as usual attitude in Washington. The American voter is not stupid and I think the mainstream media and some of the new media, of which I am a part, will be surprised when the caucus and primary votes are counted.
Let’s take the easy one first; Social Security has done a good job of reducing poverty rates among the elderly, reducing them from 35% in 1959 to 9.4% in 2006. However, with Baby Boomers beginning to retire, the current program is unsustainable. The annual reports from the Social Security Administration are nothing more than fire starter and give a false sense of security. Read them at best and burn them for fun. The Thompson White Paper predicts a 23% reduction in benefits but the GAO has predicted more in the neighborhood of 30% as we reduce the number of workers that support each retiree. Whether it is 2017 or 2041, it’s just around the corner in a very bad neighborhood.
It will be untenable for Congress to raise taxes to make up the difference. Our children won’t be able to afford it. So what does Thompson propose? The pro-choice Democrats should love it, because it’s full of choice for the worker.
Thompson will achieve the goals of making Social Security solvent by allowing current or near retirement folks to keep the plan unchanged. Then would give the option for people to contribute to an “add-on” account. The Democrats will say that it is privatizing Social Security, but it is not. It is similar to the original Bush plan but much easier to understand and workable for workers of all income levels. The key to Social Security Reform is to allow low end to middle income workers to accumulate wealth and this plan does that.
“We must protect current and near retirees’ benefits and preserve the Social Security program for future generations. Current law promises future retirees more benefits than current retirees with the same real income even though they paid the same real amount in taxes. That promise is one the current system cannot keep. Instead, current law effectively requires a 23% across the board reduction in benefits when the Trust Fund runs out of money, an event currently projected to occur in 2041,” Fred Thompson White Paper.
Taking no action is not an option. We’ve been doing that on domestic policy, with the exception of the tax cuts, for too long. Leveling the playing field for retirement is one thing that will unite Americans which is just what the Democrat class warfare specialists don’t want to do.
In my view, the second part to the domestic leveling of the playing field is in the area of making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. The left is reveling in the possibility of a recession and the expiration of the tax cuts will be the thing that would bring a recession on. Thompson also addresses this issue on his website.
The bottom line here is don’t count Fred out. The pundits have been wrong more times than not and while this is not an endorsement, it cannot be denied that Fred Thompson is the only consistently conservative candidate with the best and most specific plans articulated to achieve his goals. Now, what the caucuses and primaries have to decide is if his goals are the goals of the Republican voter.