Sen. Lindsey Graham is fond of saying federal entitlement programs will go broke if there's not an influx of new workers, but he seldom gets a volunteer when he suggests there should be a new baby boom.
"We're going to need more people to come into the country, or have an increase in birth rate. Strom had four kids after he was 67," the South Carolina Republican said again Monday at an event in Spartanburg in his home state. "Do I have any volunteers?"
That's a reference to the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., who had a total of five children including Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the mixed-race daughter he fathered at 22.
Graham, who was stopping at a Rotary Club back home during his rather unlikely 2016 White House bid , said he actually did have someone on the campaign trail volunteer to help Social Security's solvency by procreating later in life.
"One guy raised his hand in New Hampshire, but he was deaf — he didn't understand what I said. He was a nice fella, and I didn't have any confidence either that he could actually accomplish the mission," Graham said.
"If you don't have a baby boom of 60-year-olds, you better supplement your labor force because we're running out of workers," Graham said in his familiar stump speech. "So, the demographics of the baby-boom retirement require us to improve the immigration system that's completely broken ... and it requires us to adjust the age of retirement and means test benefits to save the country from becoming Greece."
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