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When is a sunset not a sunset?
The Linda McMahon campaign has been feeling some heat from the newly resurfaced comments she made in a tea party forum earlier this year about the need to "sunset" Social Security. In response, her campaign has been reduced to utter nonsense.
McMahon's campaign said their candidate only proposed a periodic review of Social Security, not subjecting it to an actual sunset provision: a deadline for its expiration, unless reauthorized by Congress.

"She didn't mean sunset in terms of what most people typically think of a sunset provision of a bill," said Todd Abrajano, her communication director.

Let's just quickly review the record.
McMahon said in response to a question about how to "strengthen" Social Security and Medicare that "we cannot continue doing things the way we are doing with Social Security. We're just simply going to be bankrupt."

The candidate later continued, "In other words, I believe in sunset provisions when we pass this kind of legislation, so that you take a look at it 10, 15 years down the road to make sure that it's still going to fund itself.[...] [emphasis added]

So when she said "sunset provisions ... [in] this kind of legislation" she didn't mean "what most people typically think of a sunset provision of a bill"? Because it sure sounds like she's talking about having a program have a set end point, where it has to then be either scrapped or reauthorized.

There aren't a lot of other ways to interpret that idea, which she expressed pretty damned clearly the first time around. Nice try, Mr. Abrajano, communication director. But no dice.

Goal ThermometerMeanwhile, the AP is now hot on the trail, meaning that this is now officially a big deal issue in the campaign.

Democrat Chris Murphy has pounced.

On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy told seniors in Hartford that his Republican rival, Linda McMahon, wants to "phase out" Social Security.
However McMahon's people try to spin it, Murphy is right. When she said "sunset" Social Security, that's precisely what she meant.

Please send Chris Murphy $3 on ActBlue.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders, Nutmeg State Progressives, and Daily Kos.

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