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Monday, Dec 22, 2014

The Right Stuff

A politics blog by Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson's baseball card - if he had one - would report he throws left, writes right. In his columns and blog, "The Right Stuff," southpaw Jackson provides insight into the evolving human condition from a distinctly conservative point of view.

DCCC: Jolly eager to empower retirees

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The more I see commercials from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the more I like David Jolly, the Republican nominee in Florida’s District 13 congressional special election.

The ads, designed to hold up the former Capitol Hill lobbyist as some sort of K Street bogeyman, instead reveal someone who has supported commonsense reform for a pair of programs that, left too themselves (or, worse, subjected to lefty tweaks) threaten the country’s long-term financial health.

What are Jolly’s alleged crimes? He advocated — advocates? — bold and necessary changes to America’s foundational retirement programs, Social Security and Medicare, changes that would put future seniors in command of their golden years.

That’s not what how the DCCC pitch describes these plans, of course, instead employing flinch-phrases to make a sinister point: Jolly favors “privatizing” Social Security and, for Medicare, a “costly voucher program.”

That’s one scary way to put it.

More accurately, however, Jolly has been for shifting Social Security from a vague entitlement that Washington can play for political gain into private, individual accounts immune from federal brinkmanship; and he’s touted the benefits of converting Medicare into a premium-support program (as federal workers have now), allowing seniors to choose the market-based health insurance plan that best suits them free from the one-size-fits-all rigors of the current single-payer behemoth.

Each plan is, by itself, better than keeping things as they have been as well as being radically superior to changes advocated by Democrats (shifting ever more of the cost of looking after retirees onto working Americans while taking from those who spent their productive years making prudent savings and investment choices).

Taken together the remote, distant but certain move to investing future retirees with individual responsibility and oversight of their golden years would unleash free-market creativity while slashing long-term national debt and, best of all, stoking an energetic, dynamic paradigm shift in the economics of aging.

That, upon further review, is what the DCCC ad says David Jolly is for and, conversely, Democratic candidate Alex Sink is not.

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