Palin Leaves Entitlement Reform Position Unclear

September 13, 2008

Source: Washington Post
WASILLA, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin brushed aside a question about entitlement reform during her interview with ABC on Friday, saying she would simply “find efficiencies” in the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs rather than assess their fundamental health.

Palin seemed to struggle some with the question, which came after she said that one of the top economic priorities of a McCain-Palin administration would be to reduce the federal budget. Palin said that in doing so, she would leave veterans’ benefits off the table.

ABC anchor Charles Gibson asked where the cuts would come from, then. “Do you talk about entitlement reform? Is there money you can save in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?”

“I am sure that there are efficiencies that are going to be found in all of those agencies. I am confident in that,” Palin said.

Gibson followed up by explaining that “the agencies are not involved in entitlements. Basically, discretionary spending is at 18 percent of the budget.”

Palin came back to her original point. “We have certainly seen excess in agencies, though, and in — when bureaucrats, when bureaucracy just gets kind of comfortable, going with the status-quo and not being challenged to find efficiencies and spend other people’s money wisely, then that’s where we get into the situation that we are into today, and that is a tremendous growth of government, a huge debt, trillions of dollars of debt that we’re passing on to my kids and your kids and your grandkids,” Palin said. “It’s unacceptable.”

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