If you’re a House of Cards fan you know the show enjoys a flare for the dramatic. Still Season 3 of this addicting Netflix original touches a bit more closely on reality.

Frank Underwood, the unelected Democratic President of the United States, is eager to run for reelection in two years and is looking to establish his credentials by advancing a major job creation project called “America Works” (affectionately referred to in Washington lingo as AmWorks).

In an early episode, Underwood gives an impassioned speech to the Democratic leadership about how everything needs to be “on the table,” including entitlement cuts. “Entitlements are bankrupting us,” Underwood announces. “This money is a job we could be giving to a single mother or a student just out of school.”

The fictional leadership who continue to see entitlements like Social Security and Medicare as the “third rail of politics is aghast – as are real-life policy commentators on the left who claim House of Cards is pushing a false narrative about the severity of the entitlement problem.

But here’s the thing, Frank Underwood is right. Take for instance, the pay-as-you-go Social Security system, which is widely understood to be untenable in its current form.  Simply put the government has made promises it cannot afford to pay for and by 2018 (some now say 2016) just 3 years from now, the government will begin to pay out more in Social Security benefits than it collects in payroll taxes – and shortfalls then will grow larger with each passing year. It is projected that by 2042, when workers currently in their mid-30s begin to retire, the system will be bankrupt. (See more on Social Security reform here.)

So if we can’t pass entitlement reform in a fictional TV show, is real reform really doomed? That’s the topic of a segment I’m part of on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business Network show tonight at 8pm.

But here’s the thing. While House of Cards gets some of the policy challenges right, it makes a grave error. A Democrat like Frank Underwood would never have pushed AmWorks without a serious investment in persuasion messaging research. Democrats are quite possibly a decade ahead of conservatives on this front, yet the show fails to reflect that. Underwood would never talk about taking the money from a retiree to give it to an unmarried mother! Never.

So maybe Independent Women can help. IWF’s sister organization the Independent Women’s Voice conducted a randomized controlled experiment on how to talk about the debt and deficit, and we learned that talking about entitlement cuts is not the third rail that the show (and progressives) often make it out to be. In fact Americans are much more open to serious change when it comes to spending that lawmakers realize.

It’s interesting that Underwood is a Democrat, but our research found that a serious message about means testing entitlements was not only a policy win but also a political one for Republicans. We learned that talking about saving entitlements for future generations was effective in driving up support for a general spending freeze 6-points (from 51-57 points), and bolstered support for serious entitlement reform policies, as well,

The usually calculating Underwood missed the fact that a message that clearly articulates the extent of the entitlement problem and positive ways of addressing it so that we have these programs in place for future generations actually boosted support for means-testing both Medicare and Social Security by 8-points!

House of Cards is one of my favorite shows; but hopefully next time they’ll turn to IWF to help with their plot lines.