Gov. DeSantis punts on Social Security

He refuses to reform programs that everyone knows are unsustainable. Denialism will make it that much harder to sell modest benefit adjustments to voters in the future.



November 10, 2023 - 4:10 PM

From left, former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina at the third Republican presidential primary debate Wednesday in Miami. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)

Donald Trump wasn’t on stage at the GOP debate on Wednesday, though he seemed to occupy Ron DeSantis’s mind. That would explain the Florida Governor’s punt on reforming entitlements that ruled out even gradually raising the Social Security retirement age.

Ron DeSantis refuses to acknowledge that Social Security is on an unsustainable path. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)

The former President this spring lambasted Mr. DeSantis for supporting Paul Ryan’s entitlement reforms while in Congress. “DeSantis is colluding with his globalist handlers to go full Never Trump in order to gaslight the people into thinking that Medicare and Social Security should be ripped away from hard-working Americans,” the Trump campaign declared.

Two decades ago Mr. Trump supported raising the retirement age to 70 and creating private retirement accounts. But he now rejects even modest changes to Social Security. When the subject of entitlement reform came up during the debate, most candidates bobbed and weaved like Muhammad Ali.

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