Wall Street Journal: Trump’s Social Security Plan ‘Takes Target Off GOP’s Back’


The Wall Street Journal says Donald Trump’s Social Security plan has taken the “target” off the Republican Party’s back during the general election.

The Journal’s “Washington Wire” column thinks that Trump’s vow to save Social Security will help him avoid the problems that Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) had when they ran in 2012 on a complex “entitlement reform” plan that Democrats were able to portray as an unpopular voucher program.

In a piece entitled “Donald Trump Shuns Social Security Reform, Takes Target Off GOP’s Back,” the Journal wrote:

That also means that when Hillary Clinton Tuesday gives a speech attacking Mr. Trump’s economic policies, she will be deprived of one classic line of Democratic attack on Republicans: telling voters that the GOP is a threat to their Social Security benefits.

Social Security is another one of Mr. Trump’s long list of policies on which he has departed from conservative orthodoxy. Unlike House Speaker Paul Ryan and former President George W. Bush, he has no interest in revamping Social Security to make it a program of private accounts. He doesn’t want to raise the retirement age or increase payroll taxes. He argues it is not an “entitlement” program but an earned benefit.

Trump has developed a Third Way economic platform that cuts taxes across the board — and eliminates income taxes for poor people — while also saving Social Security and preserving Medicare in their current versions. The plan is dependent on projected new revenues from Trump’s revised foreign trade deals, new revenues gained from taking off regulations on small companies, and new revenues gained from keeping those companies in the United States.

Trump’s plan seems impervious to Clinton’s attacks. This was evidenced by Clinton’s speech in North Carolina Wednesday. She accused Trump’s plan of increasing the debt and said that his tax cuts “tilt” to the rich.

But those are the same talking points that Clinton and Obama have been using on Republicans like George W. Bush and John Boehner for years. That’s why Clinton had to attack “Congress” and past “Republican presidents,” referring to the Bushes, when she talked in the speech about “trickle-down economics.”

Trump’s plan has nothing to do with trickle-down economics: it eliminates income taxes on the poor.