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As the Democrat candidates for president spend more time in Pennsylvania these next couple of weeks, it will be interesting to see what they spend their time talking about.
So far, the campaign has focused quite a bit on identity politics, character, change and experience. Much of the bickering has had nothing to do with real policy questions like taxes, spending or energy.
There seems to be a consensus that the two Democrat candidates are not that far apart on these issues: both would raise taxes, move us toward government health care and impose severe restrictions on carbon emissions.
But voters should not be satisfied with this. What are the candidates going to do about one of the biggest financial problems this country has ever faced? Namely, how will the candidates deal with the looming entitlement crisis that awaits us?
As they travel the state from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, and chat with concerned citizens about the economy, what specifics will they provide?
Will Barack Obama admit that he wants to raise the cap on the amount of income susceptible to Social Security taxes?
Will Hillary Clinton talk about why she opposes giving younger voters a personal account that they own and control?
It’s up to the voters in Pennsylvania to ask the tough questions of these candidates. Voters should remind these candidates that not only do we face troubling signs in the short term economic picture, but that our long term outlook is frightening. A big part of the problem is that both Clinton and Obama voted against stopping the congressional raid on the Social Security Trust Fund.
Voters in Pennsylvania should not let them get away with doubletalk on this issue. If the candidates are worried about the economic situation now, what are they willing to do to prevent a total collapse of retirement security in the future?