ANAHEIM, California — GOP presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee tells Breitbart News exclusively that he wanted to jump into the discussion about Social Security and Medicare during the second GOP primary debate hosted by CNN, because “it touches every American.”
Huckabee, who got less than half the time on camera of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, spoke exclusively to Breitbart News at the California GOP Convention in Anaheim, California – two days after the debate.
“I would love to have engaged in the conversation about Social Security and Medicare because it touches every American. Every person has their wages garnished by the government for their entire working life,” Huckabee told Breitbart News.
And the government has squandered what they paid in, and there are some that think the answer to that is to just break the promises to Americans. I think that’s the wrong answer, because it isn’t workers’ faults that their money has been squandered. When I hear people say, ‘lets just raise the age, make them work longer, or lets cut their benefits’ – and that was a deicson that a couple of the candidates had – I was dying to get in there. To my knowledge, I’m the one Republican on the stage who believes that we don’t go changing the rules in the middle of the game for the people who have been paying in all these years.
CNN’s Dana Bash brought up the issue of Social Security at one point in the debate with Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“Mr. Trump, you have said once or twice that you are really rich, and you are by far the richest person on this stage,” Dana began. “Chris Christie says billionaires like you and even people who make and earn far less should no longer get Social Security, or at least there should be limits based on — on their income. You think he’s wrong, and if so, why?”
“Speaking for myself, I’m ok with it. I think there’s a certain truth to it. I know people that, frankly, it has no impact on their life whatsoever. There are many people,” Trump answered. “I would almost say leave it up to them, but I would be willing to check it off, and say I will not get Social Security. I do not…”
Bash interrupted, “What about the country as a — as a policy?”
“As a policy, I would almost leave it up to the people. Don’t forget they pay in and they pay in, and maybe they do well, and maybe some people want it. But the fact is that there are people that truly don’t need it, and there are many people that do need it very, very badly. And I would be willing to write mine off 100 percent, Dana,” Trump answered.
“So is a voluntary program the way to get the Social Security system solvent again like that?” Bash asked, directing the question to Christie.
“No, it’s not. But with Donald, it’s a good start. That’s really good,” Christie stated, as the audience laughed.
No, listen. This is an issue that — that we’ve gotta talk about, and we haven’t talked about yet. 71 percent of all federal spending is on entitlements and debt service. When John Kennedy was elected president in 1960, it was 26 percent. Harvard and Dartmouth says that Social Security’s going to go insolvent in seven to eight years. So what I say is very simple. We need to save this program for the good people out there who have paid into the system and need it. And if that means making sure that folks like Donald and many of us on the stage don’t get it, that’s the right thing to do because here’s what Hillary Clinton is going to want to do. She’s going to want to put more money into a system that has already lied to us and stolen from us. This government doesn’t need more money to make Social Security solvent. We need to be not paying out benefits to people who don’t really need it. We need to protect the people who Social Security means the difference between picking between heat and rent and food.
Many elderly citizens depend on Social Security as their major source of income. Roughly nine out of ten senior citizens over 65-years-old receive Social Security.
As of 1940, most 65-year-olds were predicted to live an additional 14 years. But as of 2014, 65-year-olds are expected to have an additional life expectancy of 20 years. This means that the number of senior citizens could increase, from 46.6 million to 77 million in roughly 17 years.