John Kasich To Millennials And Generation X: Social Security Cuts Are Coming And “You’re Going To Have To Get Over It”

This afternoon, Ohio Governor John Kasich appeared in New Hampshire and discussed his position on entitlement reform.  During the interview, he had a brief exchange with an audience member that gave some insight toward how his plan would affect Generation X and Millennials.  Here is a video clip of the exchange:

CNN.com jumped on the story:

The Republican presidential candidate was asked about entitlement reform during NH1’s “Fiscal Fridays” series in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday, and he said it was something that would have to get done.

“We can’t balance a budget without entitlement reform. What are we, kidding?” Kasich said when asked about his opponents who say they won’t touch entitlements.

Kasich said he was part of the effort to reform Medicare and Medicaid in the ’90s, and that he also had a plan to change Social Security so that initial benefits were lowered for individuals not yet near eligibility.

He asked audience members to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security, asked them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be and then asked them if they would be bothered if it were a little lower for the good of the country.

One person said it would be a problem.

“Well, you’d get over it, and you’re going to have to get over it,” Kasich joked.

For those unfamiliar with Ohio Governor John Kasich, he has caused considerable friction in his home state by staunchly supporting the unpopular Common Core exams and awkwardly selected the Secret Service nickname “Unit Two” during a Republican debate.  He is currently an afterthought in the campaign, garnering between 2% and 6% support in Republican polls.

Let’s take a look at the play-by-play and examine just how this affects young Americans.

He asked audience members to raise their hands if they were far from receiving Social Security,

One could draw the conclusion that he asked for audience members who were ‘far from receiving Social Security’ to isolate the members of the crowd who were younger.

asked them if they knew yet what their initial benefit would be

The quote is “How many of you know what your initial benefit is going to be?”… “You actually know, you know too… but nobody in this room actually knows… cause we usually don’t know.”

Of course, this is a question that the vast majority of young Americans would have no idea the answer to.  Hell, I don’t know what my initial benefit is, and I just wrote a book about Social Security!

and then asked them if they would be bothered if it were a little lower for the good of the country.

“Now what if I told you you’re initial benefit was going to be somewhat lower, in order to save the program, would that drive you crazy?”

Young Americans have had to deal with dismal employment opportunities, student loan debt, and a lifetime of being told that Social Security will not be there for them.  God forbid someone says this would be a problem.

One person said it would be a problem.

Well, there you go.

“Wait, it would upset you?  Okay, well you’d get over it…” Kasich quipped and then laughed and several members of the crowd did as well.  But his change in demeanor over the last few seconds of the clip told the story…

“…and you’re gonna have to get over it” he remarked as he settled into his chair and the humor left his voice.  The fact is that young Americans opinions will be discounted and shoved onto the back burner of politicians consciousness until more of them speak up, get involved and get angry.

 Now, left leaning news publications have run with the story that Kasich is trying to cut Social Security.  But that’s not entirely true.  His plan will include cuts to Social Security, but they are meant for Generation X and Millennials, not for Baby Boomers.

These cuts will affect younger generations who will never recover the money that they put into Social Security.

Young Americans still aren’t mad as hell yet.  But they should be.  And the fact that they aren’t means that they will continue to have politicians snatch their money away to pay for government waste and the retirement of Baby Boomers.   Social Security serves no financial benefit whatsoever to anyone younger than 50.  It is time that we all demanded the choice to opt-out.

-R.J. Renza, Jr.

Please take a moment and sign the National Petition to Opt-Out of Social Security. The more signatures we gather, the more pressure we place on Congress and our political leaders.

August marked the release of my first e-book “How Are You Not Angry Yet: How Social Security is Destroying the Futures, Finances and Hopes of Generations X,Y and Z and How We Can Put and End to it,” which takes on Social Security from the perspective of young America in a visceral and humorous way.  “Angry Yet” breaks down the complex topic of Social Security into a way that most Americans can easily understand and find entertaining and is available here.

I was recently mentioned by my favorite economic blogger Michael Shedlock in his post “Question To Millennials: Why Are You Not Mad As Hell Yet?”

I also appeared on The Debt Dialogues, the weekly podcast of “RooseveltCare” author Don Watkins:

Check out my video of how I celebrated Social Security’s 80th Birthday and What Social Security Does To Kids.

You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/takebackyoursix

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