Today’s Florida Senate debate been Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist was full of telling moments, on issues like the stimulus, taxes, and spending. But for fiscal conservatives interested in finding out which candidate is best prepared to serve in the Senate and most clear-eyed about what they need to do once they get there, that exchange on Social Security was the most revealing.
Marco Rubio dealt honestly with the program’s pending bankruptcy and leveled with voters about the menu of policy changes that need to happen, including the option of gradually raising the retirement age for future retirees. Charlie Crist’s solution to the trillions in unfunded liabilities? Waste and fraud.
I can tell you, having worked on this issue for over two decades both on the Hill and in the Bush White House, eliminating “waste and fraud” will most certainly not cure what ails Social Security. To suggest that it would betrays a lack of seriousness about the key challenges facing our country and our senators. In fact, this difference in the candidate’s approach to issues is one of the reasons I switched my support from Governor Crist to Marco Rubio.
Marco knows that while he won’t support changes to Social Security for those over 55, the program will need to change for those like him who are under 40.
Florida needs a senator who will lead on key issues, whether it’s job creation, controlling spending, repealing, and replacing the health-care bill or protecting and reforming a critical program like Social Security, for Florida’s seniors today and tomorrow.
— Cesar Conda was assistant for domestic policy to Vice President Dick Cheney and senior economic policy adviser to the 2008 Mitt Romney for President Campaign.