Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle's position on Social Security and Medicare--that the programs should be eventually phased out for a completely private system--is a big enough political liability that Harry Reid shouldn't feel the need to distort it. But that's exactly what he does in his first ad attacking Angle.
Angle would "cut benefits for everyone coming into the system," declares Reid's ad. That's not true. Angle told THE WEEKLY STANDARD a few weeks ago that seniors should be guaranteed "that safety net that they paid into."
"Those who have been paying into the Social Security system and Medicare system can have their choice," Angle said. "Maybe they want to go onto the old system or maybe they want to go onto the new [private] system. ... Those workers that are coming on line, who are just beginning their careers, should really be looking at a private system."
Angle may have opened herself up to Reid's attack by not specifying the exact age at which she would like to transition to a free market alternative. "I’m not certain exactly over what period of time we phase that in," she told me, "nor at which age level we say to them, 'You have to go onto the private system.'" If Angle wants to blunt Reid's attack, she may want to be more specific about her plan. Paul Ryan's plan, for example, would not touch benefits for those 55 or older.