Michele Bachmann, having been overshadowed in last week's Republican debate, has a lot riding on tonight's showdown, sponsored by the Tea Party Express and all, and has settled on just the issue to rescue her floundering campaign: she'll attack frontrunner Rick Perry for calling Social Security an unconstitutional "Ponzi scheme." See, Bachmann is positioning herself as a valiant defender of the popular program and setting herself out as the savior to the seniors who actually bother to show up for things like primary caucuses. If you're a senior and scared for your Social Security check, Bachmann's the candidate for you, so the talking points go.
Talking with Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson, Bachmann made a case for there being two kinds of Republicans: ones like her who will make sure that grandma doesn't lose sleep over her Social Security check and twangy Texans who would make grandma choose between eating and watching cable TV:
What I think about Social Security is that the United States made a decision 80 years ago about retirement for senior citizens. I do believe that Social Security is in trouble going forward. It needs to be reformed and modified so that we can keep the promise that’s been made to senior citizens. We can’t ask anyone that’s on Social Security right now to change their benefits. We just can’t because people have made their plans. They’ve made their live’s decisions in such a way depending upon what they expected was to be an earned income for the remainder of their life.
What a dreadful thing for the U.S. to do, not being absolutely certain that Social Security checks will arrive on time or in the amount that was promised! Bachmann's spokeswoman Alice Stewart made it clear in comments to Politico that her boss was the Make Sure Social Security Checks Are Paid candidate:
Michele looks forward to the opportunity to explain the sharp contrast between her view of Social Security and that of Gov. Perry. Michele believes Social Security is an important safety net for Americans who have paid into the program all their lives and the federal government should keep its promise to seniors. She believes it’s wrong for a candidate to make seniors worry about the safety net they are entitled to.
Of course, it was just a few months ago when the U.S. Treasury was facing the possibility of running out of all money and thus unable to issue checks, including Social Security payments, if it couldn't borrow more money. Three weeks before the government was going to go broke, President Obama pointed out, "There are about 70 million checks that go out each month. I can not guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it."