Palazzo hints at Social Security, Medicare cuts


That didn't take long. Hours after I wondered about the state GOP's failure to mention Donald Trump in its campaign email, there was Rep. Steven Palazzo out on the stump for the reality TV star and businessman.

Palazzo was phoning it in to the Gallo Radio Show in Jackson on Friday morning. The congressman said he was home on August recess. Gallo allowed he deserved a couple of days off.

Actually, Congress takes the month of August off so Gallo only missed it by 29 days. In his defense, his show is in the city that brought us the mathematically challenged state budget, a city where residents have worried that there is something in the water. They may be on to something.

Palazzo did a bit of Trump-style campaigning, talking about the damage Hillary Clinton would do. He didn't mention anything in particular that Trump would do, although to Palazzo's credit he did mention the Republican's name almost as often as Clinton's. The word he and Gallo used most often was "scary."

Scaring the voters is a tactic, so that's OK.

They talked about all the Iran "ransom." They talked about the "nuclear arrangement" that would "allow (Iran) to have nuclear weapons probably easier and faster." They talked about the Supreme Court.

And they talked about the U.N. Now, friends wonder why I listen to Gallo on occasion. Well, I do learn a lot. I didn't know U.N. was a four syllable word until I heard Gallo say it.

It didn't take long to head down the rabbit hole, either.

"Every time I hear the word ‘surreal’ that you just use," began Gallo. (Spoiler: Palazzo had said a lot of things in his stream of consciousness, trashed the Constitution etc. And he can be hard to follow. But I listened four times and didn't hear the word "surreal.") "That's an adjective that describes a lot of current events and before the fall of democracy."

I should charge for this kind of advice but I won't. If your candidate has just admitted that he has not seen a video of the $400 million cash transfer to Iran (a video that by the way doesn't exist), even though he insisted twice at rallies and at least once on Twitter that he had, you might not want to inject the word "surreal" into the conversation.

Meanwhile, on the rabbit hunt, Palazzo and Gallo had figured out why Trump's campaign is accelerating toward the ground. Of course, there is the "fact" the media is in the tank for Clinton.

But the real problem is the voters.

"Fifty percent of the population, all they care about is their benefits checks and the government or their nice union job with the federal government," he said. "They don't care about things that made America great."

Gallo was more harsh.

"We have low information voters, PIVs, politically ignorant voters, out there," he said. "We have enough of them, and I think you are probably right, it's about 50-50 if not 49-51 who select a president or politician with all of the integrity and the forethought of selecting a card in a card trick. I think that's about as much thought as they put into it."

As my friend Slim Smith pointed out early Thursday morning, there is some irony there.

Now let's think about people who care about their benefits checks. The cynics among us will write that off as just another code word for blacks on welfare. But Palazzo explains what he means.

"We have to go after mandatory spending," he said. "That's 71 cents of every dollar that's spent is mandatory and we don't have a vote on it."

The largest portion of "mandatory spending" is for Social Security and Medicare. You know, the two programs that would pay for themselves if Congress would keep its hands off the money that's taken out of our paychecks specifically for those programs.

So there you have it. Palazzo is after Social Security and Medicare.

Surreal. Scary.