Nikki Haley on Trump and DeSantis: “We Can’t Keep Kicking the Can”

Nikki Haley on Trump and DeSantis:

( – Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has set out to outflank her Republican rivals. At a recent town hall, she called for reform to Social Security and Medicare to make sure everyone who’s paid into it actually gets the benefits. Social Security reform is the third rail of US politics –- but Haley says the country can’t avoid it any longer.

Talking at a CNN town hall on June 4, Haley put a clear distance between herself and the two leading candidates for the 2024 Republican nomination, former president Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, on the issue of entitlement spending.

Haley pointed out to host Jake Tapper that spending on social security is exceeding the money flowing into the program’s trust funds –- and, on current trends, the balance of those funds will hit zero in 2033. She also noted that the funds for Medicare would run out even sooner, in just eight years.

Many Republicans are calling for reform to Social Security and Medicare, but Trump and DeSantis are opposed. Trump, in particular, has criticized conservatives who want to raise the eligibility age for the benefits. While DeSantis’s position is less clear –- he’s supported budget proposals that include some reforms. Haley is now siding with those who say something needs to be done about the issue.

According to Haley, “We can’t keep kicking this can down the road.” She said her rivals’ reluctance to consider reform of the benefits just means a future president will need to deal with the approaching funding crisis, and “that’s leaving a lot of Americans in trouble.”

The Congressional Budget Office’s figures show that when the Social Security trust funds run out in 2033, there are two options –- either the federal government pumps in money to keep payments at the scheduled level, or Social Security will be reduced to match the money coming into the program.

That would mean payments fell sharply. Either way, tough choices need to be made. Haley is positioning herself as the only candidate who’s willing to make them instead of putting them off until the crisis hits.

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