'Suicidal politics': Chris Wallace hammers Ron Johnson's 'terrible policy' for Social Security
Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On CNN Thursday, analyst Chris Wallace tore into the proposal by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) to require Social Security and Medicare to be continuously reauthorized — saying that the plan would be a disastrous policy, and a massively unpopular one as well.

"Chris, I want to have you listen to something that Senator Ron Johnson said about Social Security and Medicare," said anchor Brianna Keilar, playing a clip.

"What is mandatory are things like Social Security and Medicare," said Johnson in the clip. "If you qualify for the entitlement, you just get it no matter what the cost, and our problem in this country is that more than 70 percent of our federal budget, of our federal spending, what we ought to be doing is we ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so it is all evaluated, so we can fix problems or fix programs that are broken, that are going to be going bankrupt."

"What do you make of that, fixing problems, evaluating problems, turning it into discretionary funding?" asked Keilar. "Sounds like cutting Medicare and Social Security."

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"Well, it certainly is putting it up for grabs," said Wallace. "It is terrible policy and it is suicidal politics. Because of the fact it is the old political cliché, Social Security is the third rail of American politics, like the third rail in the New York subway system, the one where you can electrocute yourself. But the fundamental misunderstanding — Social Security is not money that is just handed out to Americans, hey, here is some free money. We pay into Social Security, we pay into Medicare, it is in effect an insurance policy, like you pay premiums, nobody would say, well, you're not entitled to the benefit for life insurance when the person who has the policy dies, we have been paying into this system for years."

"You know, look, there are — there are problems with Social Security and Medicare," said Wallace. "Maybe you have to raise the retirement age. But ... the fact is you paid into it, and you're getting the benefit, sometimes more than you paid in, but the benefit of what you paid into the system in the first place."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Chris Wallace says Ron Johnson's Social Security and Medicare proposal is "suicidal politics" www.youtube.com