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Obama speaks ill of Social Security, nutroots go nuclear

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By Michelle Malkin  •  November 12, 2007 07:51 AM

Update: Here’s the vid.

***
1obam.jpg Here is a cardinal rule for Democrat presidential candidates: Unless you are Paul Tsongas, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and died in 1997, you are not, not, not, not, not ever supposed to breathe a negative word about the looming entitlement crisis. Barack Obama apparently didn’t get the memo, and now he’s being barbecued by the far Left for suggesting something needs to be done to avert the collapse of Social Security. Doesn’t matter that his solution is means-testing. He spilled the beans on the problem in his Meet The Press appearance and that is a nutroots no-no:

“I think the best way to approach this is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like myself are paying a little bit more and people who are in need are protected,” the Illinois senator said.

“That is the option that I will be pushing forward.”

Currently, only the first $97,500 of a person’s annual income is taxed. The amount is scheduled to rise to $102,000 next year.

Obama’s proposal could include a gap or “doughnut hole” to shield middle-income earners from paying more in taxes, he said.

Obama has tried to draw contrasts between himself and front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Social Security, saying on the stump and in TV ads that she has dodged tough questions about its finances.

Obama said some tough decisions will be in order because Social Security is the most important social program in the country.

“It’s not sufficient for us to just finesse the issue because we’re worried that, well, we might be attacked for the various options we present,” he said.

Clinton has said growing the economy will pump more money into Social Security’s coffers. She also has said she would create a bipartisan commission to recommend solutions.

Social Security is projected to start spending more than it collects beginning in 2017, with its trust fund depleted in 2041.

Obama also invoked his friend, billionaire Warren Buffett, who Obama said has expressed concern that he pays less in Social Security taxes than anyone else in his office.

“And he has said, and I think a lot of us who have been fortunate are willing to pay a little bit more to make sure that a senior citizen who is struggling to deal with rising property taxes or rising heating bills, that they’ve got the coverage that they need,” Obama said.

Paul Krugman leads the frothed-mouthers, accusing Obama of pandering to Tim “Hitler” Russert. A HuffPo huffer piles on:

Barack Obama, please realize that you are assisting the right’s efforts to get rid of Social Security. Their strategy is to make the public think that the program is in trouble and then sweep in with their “solution.” …IS your heart in the right place? Social Security is not in trouble. Stop saying it is.

Message: Obama needs to learn to whistle past the graveyard like the other Dems or face more wrath from his base.

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