GOP Pollster and spinmeister, Frank Luntz, is convinced the Republican party doesn’t have a problem with their ideas, just in being too honest when talking about them. Luntz wrote an Oped for the Washington Post this weekend that provides an incredibly cynical glimpse into the GOP propaganda strategy on Social Security and Medicare. Basically, he says conservatives should avoid telling Americans the whole story about the various plans to cut benefits, privatize or shift costs for seniors:
“Instead of entitlement reform or controlling the growth of Medicare and Social Security, talk about how to save and strengthen these programs so they are there when voters need them. After all, they paid for them.” Frank Luntz, GOP Pollster
That’s right, they do pay for them — which is why the vast majority of Americans do not support cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits to pay down the deficit. However, rather than address this massive disconnect between how the average American would address our fiscal mess and how Republicans would, the Luntz strategy is to cloak their plans in poll-tested propaganda.
Orwellian double-speak offered by conservatives who say “save” when they mean “slash” and “preserve” when they mean “privatize” isn’t new. It was also the cornerstone of the Republican campaign against healthcare reform where the GOP continues to mislead seniors into believing the Affordable Care Act cut their Medicare benefits, even though the opposite is true.
“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,’ … Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’” NRCC Medicare Memo
So, House Republicans will gather at their annual retreat this week — and if they take their pollster’s advice — crafting ways to ensure they don’t tell the American people exactly what they have planned for Social Security and Medicare and the millions of families those programs serve.