There’s Pawlenty of Time to Wait Before Cutting Social Security

Last night Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN), Rep. Ron Paul (TX), Gov. Gary Johnson (NM), Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) and the CEO of Godfather Pizza Herman Cain (GA) officially launched the 2012 race for the White House at the first Republican Presidential Primary debate of this cycle. The GOP debate was organized by Fox News at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

After the debate, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was interviewed by Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.

HANNITY: How would you balance the budget for the federal government and begin the process of paying off $14 trillion plus in debt which is going to be higher soon?

PAWLENTY: There are many things we have to do. I governed a very liberal state. I had the first government shutdown in 150 years. I set a record for vetoes. I un-allotted more money using executive authority in my eight years than all the other 140-some odd years of governors combined. You’ve got to draw lines in the sand. It does lead substantially to reforming entitlement programs. We have to look the people in the eye, tell them what we are going to do.

And it includes this — we have to raise the retirement age for Social Security for new entrants into the program. Don’t scare the people who are already on the program. Anybody who is not yet contributing to Social Security. So, people coming into the workforce at age 16, 17, 18, that retirement age will raise gradually over time.

Pawlenty claims he will not raise the retirement age of people who are already in the Social Security system. He will only adjust the retirement age of teenagers up to 18 years old who have not yet entered the workforce (and coincidentally are too young to vote in 2012). An 18-year old in 2013 would not qualify for a full retirement pension until 2062. Thus, the change which Gov. Pawlenty is advocating will only begin to affect the deficit half a century from now.

So is Pawlenty being honest about what he is going to cut, or is balancing the deficit not really a priority for him?

Hey Tim, What about the Pentagon Mosque

— Jed Lewison from Daily Kos.

Tim  Pawlenty says:

   “I’m strongly opposed to the idea of putting a mosque anywhere near Ground Zero-I think it’s inappropriate,” he said. “I believe that 3,000 of our fellow innocent citizens were killed in that area, and some ways from a patriotic standpoint, it’s hallowed ground, it’s sacred ground, and we should respect that. We shouldn’t have images or activities that degrade or disrespect that in any way.”

Apparently, Pawlenty forgot that fact that the Pentagon was also attacked on 9/11 — and that there is a mosque in the Pentagon.  
Justin Elliot:

Why did no one object to the “Pentagon mosque”?

   The “ground zero mosque” story seems to be dying down, but nothing lays bare the absurdity of what we’ve just lived through quite so much as this Washington Times story, quoted above, from 2007.

   Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes — daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. They haven’t even had the sensitivity to move two blocks, let alone a mile, away from that sacred site.

The story to which Elliot linked:

Navy imam Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam lifted his voice to God as he called to prayer more than 100 Department of Defense employees Monday at a celebration of Ramadan at the Pentagon.

      God is most great, sang the lieutenant commander and Islamic leader, in Arabic, as iftar – the end of the daily fast began.

      Uniformed military personnel, civilians and family members faced Mecca and knelt on adorned prayer rugs chanting their prayers in quiet invocation to Allah.

So how about it, Tim? Why aren’t you outraged by the Pentagon mosque? And doesn’t your lack of outrage prove that you are merely trying to exploit religious bigotry for political gain? And doesn’t that make you a poster-child for cowardice?