Same as the old austerity guy. Georgia Republican Tom Price is taking over for Paul Ryan as chair of the House Budget Committee, and where Ryan was good at lying about wanting to wreck Social Security and Medicare, Price really doesn't give a damn.
"What I’m hopeful is what the Budget Committee will be able do is to is begin to normalize the discussion and debate about Social Security. This is a program that right now on its current course will not be able to provide 75 or 80 percent of the benefits that individuals have paid into in a relatively short period of time," he said at a Heritage Action for America event in Washington, D.C., according to AJC. "That’s not a responsible position to say, ‘You don’t need to do anything to do it.’"
Price, whose predecessor Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) never put forward major reform proposals in his otherwise ambitious budgets, offered means-testing and increasing the eligibility age as possibilities. He also hinted at privatizing Social Security.
"All those things ought to be on the table and discussed," he said.
Somehow I think means testing will vanish very quickly from Price's repertoire of "what's on the table". That leaves raising the eligibility age into the 70's and of course the big one, privatization. The key here is that Ryan was smart enough to not try to force a government shutdown over Social Security by putting it in the budget talks (and smarter still not to get involved in the clown car mess). Price apparently is looking for that fight as soon as possible.
We'll see if Democrats can stand up to him, and what can get through the Senate.
New tag: Tom Price. He's a pretty important guy these days.