Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 7:27 a.m.
This is deja vu from 2010, when callers to conservative talk shows elicited damaging remarks from GOP Senate hopeful Sharron Angle. Just a week after calling Social Security a "pyramid scheme" and then having to walk it back, Rep. Joe Heck was asked about the remark by Alan Stock on his program Tuesday. I won't suggest this was a set-up call by the Democrats, as some seemed to be in 2010, but it doesn't matter because of Heck's response.
Instead of correcting the caller or decrying the term that got him in trouble, Heck simply agreed with "Robert," as you can see below (audio posted at right)-- if nothing else, you have to admire Heck's consistency and intensity:
Stock: Let’s head over to Robert. Robert you’re on KXNT with Dr. Joe Heck. Good afternoon, sir.
Robert: Good afternoon. How are you gentlemen doing today?
Stock: Fine. Good right ahead, sir.
Robert: Congressman Heck, I just wanted to thank you, you know, because I’m a working man just like the rest of you and you’re absolutely right: Social Security is a pyramid scheme. And, you know, I’m just (unintelligible) because the money I’m paying right now I am paying for other peoples’ futures and fewer and fewer people are paying for my benefits as well. And that’s not what Social Security is intended for. Why aren’t more people talking about this, and what can Washington do to starting doing something to fix it?
Heck: Yeah, it’s a great question Robert and you’re exactly right. You know back in 1955 there were nine people paying in for every person collecting. By 1973 that dropped down to three to one. It’s projected that over the next 20 years it will be down to two to one. You know and it’s already said that Social Security is probably going to be insolvent in about 20 years. So we can wait until 20 years from now to take action, or we can take action now. And like you I’ve been paying into Social Security for almost 32 years and want to make sure that there’s a benefit there when I retire. I co-sponsored a bill that would say that Social Security contributions from your paycheck go into a fund that can only be used to pay for Social Security. You know, Congress… previous Congresses have raided the trust fund for other pet projects and to try to balance the budget and use it for other projects. We’ve got to make sure that the money going in goes specifically to those that are expecting a benefit at some point in time. And then we’re going to have to look at a lot of other options to put on the table to make sure that the program remains viable and stable. It’s a matter of leadership. You know, previous Congress has done nothing about the debt. They show no leadership o nthe debt and now we’re in a debt crisis. They are showing no leadership on Medicare and we are approaching a Medicare crisis. And if nobody wants to show leadership on Social Security we’ll have the same crisis in about 20 years.
Stock: Robert, appreciate your call this afternoon. Thanks a lot for joining us.
This is just what the Democrats are looking for and what they will be doing in races across the country on Social Security and Medicare -- and Heck just keeps giving them fodder.