Monday, January 22, 2024

Haley Dissembling

Suspending his presidential campaign and endorsing Donald Trump on January 21, Florida governor Ron DeSantis stated "We can't go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.

Of course, a second Trump Administration would be warmed-over corporatism, yet with a large dose of authoritarianism mixed in.  On the heels of praise for the ex-President from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, James Downie notes a President Trump "would deliver these millionaires and billionaires more massive tax cuts. He would reverse the Biden administration's moves for stronger bank regulations. And he'd end President Joe Biden's efforts to rein in monopolies, help organized labor and safeguard workers' rights."

Nevertheless, DeSantis is right about Haley. Moments after DeSantis bowed out, CNN's Dana Bash asked (at :23 of the video below) Haley

O.K., when he dropped out, part of what he said was he reminded everybody that he "signed a pledge to support the Republican nominee. I'll honor that pledge. "He," meaning Donald Trump, has my endorsement because we can't go back to the old Republican guard of yesteryear or repackaged form of warmed- up corporatism that Nikki Haley represents. That's tough stuff on his way out the door.

The former U.N. ambassador responded

You know and it's interesting because there's no proof of that. These fellas say this because they wat people to believe it. But what's amazing to me is they think they can lie to the American people and the American people are going to believe it.

Prove it. Prove the fact that Donald Trump says I want to cut Social Security or raise the age. I've never said that... Prove the fact that Ron DeSantis says I'm a corporate whatever he says I am.

 I've never done that.

That corporate whatever" would be "repackaged form of warmed up-corporatism." The candidate bet that few in the pro-Haley center and left media would go to the videotape and for the most part, she seems to have won that bet. However, the tape does in fact exist. At the recent debate held prior to the Iowa caucus, Haley promised (beginning at :25 of the video below)

And the way we fix it is that no one has to worry that you're going to lose what you paid in or what you gave. America should always keep her promises and we have to live by that. But what we will do is make changes to those like my kids in their '20s, those coming into the system. We will change their retirement ae to reflect life expectancy. We Will change, rather than doing cost-of-living increase, we'll do increases based on inflation. We will limit the benefit on the wealthy and we'll expand Medicare Advantage plans that seniors love that create competition.

Some elderly people opt for Medicare Advantage because Medicare benefits are inadequate. Haley proposes to expand Medicare Advantage, which primarily advantages profit-seeking private companies, in the obvious hope that public support for the Medicare program dissipates.

And that's her plan for Social Security. After raising the age at which benefits can be received- which she explicitly told Bash she had not proposed- Haley would apply a less generous formula for calculating benefits. Thereafter- if not before- she would eliminate benefits for the wealthy, thereby converting the program into a welfare program, which gradually would erode support for its continuation.

Haley's stated plan was not merely impulsive, a debate faux pas. A few months earlier (:29 of the video below), the South Carolinian had asserted

So the way we deal with it is we don't touch anyone's retirement or anyone who's been promised in. But we go to people like my kids in their '20s when they're coming in to the system and we say the rules have changed. We change retirement age to reflect life expectancy. Instead of cost-of-living increases, we do it based on inflation. We limit the benefits on the wealthy and we expand Medicare Advantage plans.


It wasn't for nothing, as the saying goes, that Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the Koch Foundation, last November heartily endorsed Haley of President. She has been both consistently wrong about earned benefits and brazenly dishonest in claiming that she hasn't advocated raising the retirement age or cutting benefits.

Ron DeSantis' prescription, election of Donald Trump to the presidency, is ridiculous, as we are inadvertently reminded by Jamie Dimon.  However, the moderate image of Nikki Haley does not capture the reality of an extremely conservative political figure.

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