Hillary Sidesteps Social Security Questions to ‘Not Spook’ Americans

Hillary could have saved CNBC “Street Signs” viewers about 10 minutes of their lives by just saying “Trust me,” when CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood pressed her on economic issues.

Clinton appeared on the October 11 show with Harwood and “Street Signs” anchor Erin Burnett.

Harwood asked Clinton to respond to a comment made by GOP presidential nominee frontrunner Rudy Giuliani: “Hillary Clinton … wants to put a lid on us. She wants to put a lid on our growth. We want to give people freedom.”

“Well, obviously I disagree profoundly,” Clinton said. “What I have proposed would be fiscally responsible. I have put forth the way I would pay for everything that I believe we need to do in our country. I am concerned that our great economic engine that is the heart and soul of the American dream is under stress and even under attack.”

However, Clinton’s proposed a bizarre solution – she’s said wants to roll back Bush’s tax cuts for those in the top two tax brackets to fund entitlements, primarily her $110-billion “Hillarycare” boondoggle, and try to make Social Security solvent with what’s left.

Harwood asked her if those tax increases would hurt the economy.

“Well, I don’t believe that’s the case,” Clinton said. “We hear a lot from the other side about taxes, but as I recall in the 1990s when my husband did raise taxes on the upper-income Americans who are the most well off, we got 22 million new jobs. President Bush has tried to slash taxes as much as he could over the last six-and-a-half years. We haven’t seen jobs increase the way we should have if cutting taxes is supposed to be a job generator.”

However, in a time of war, the Bush economy has created 8.1 million new jobs and the post-tax cut IRS has seen double-digit increases in tax receipts.

Harwood also asked her to comment on an idea put forth by Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson – to index Social Security benefits to inflation instead of wages.

“[W]e do have to get back to fiscal responsibility to replenish the Social Security trust fund. I want people committed to that first before we start talking about what will or will not be done. And then, I want a bi-partisan commission so everyone agrees on what steps have to be taken.”

But, Harwood pressed on for a specific answer. “But don’t you owe it, as someone with a very good chance at becoming president, seeking the votes of Americans, don’t you owe it to the American people to tell them what you think about some of these specific ideas while you’re running?” Harwood asked.

“I think what I owe the American people is to tell them I will not spook them and sound the alarm over Social Security because that’s not merited,” Clinton said. “We have time to deal with this problem. I will deal with it in a responsible fashion.”

Taxes Social Security Street Signs Erin Burnett John Harwood

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