Changes in Medicare and Social Security, which account for about 40 percent of federal spending, “should only affect younger workers like me,” McDaniel said. In describing his mother, a retired schoolteacher, he said, “She paid into the system, and she’s due money back.”
He cautions voters only generally that “hard choices” are ahead, but maintains that there are no conflicts in his positions.
“Naturally, if our central government was doing the things it was supposed to be doing ... then there would be more than ample money to take care of the issues we need to take care of,” he said.
McDaniel does mention some spending he’d eliminate, but his examples make for a tiny fraction of the budget: $1.5 billion to maintain empty government buildings, various research studies (usually with individual price tags of less than $1 million) and $146 million for first-class airline upgrades for federal workers.
Those are details that don’t necessarily matter in Tuesday’s runoff, said veteran Republican adviser Katon Dawson.
“Opposing ‘out-of-control’ government spending is a winner in Republican primaries,” Dawson said. “Whoever gets the high ground on that issue probably wins.”