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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Dems Make House Republicans Squirm About Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

From “White House turns talk of Medicare, Social Security cuts against GOP” by Alex Gangitano and Brett Samuels at The Hill:

The White House is turning the tables on House Republican lawmakers when it comes to conservative-led spending proposals that Democrats warn could mean cuts to crucial programs like Medicare and Social Security….The Biden administration is already building on a strategy it deployed during the midterm election season in which it highlighted talk from multiple GOP congressional lawmakers about how they plan to use their new House majority to consider cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

It’s also putting a spotlight on the possibility of military spending cuts by Republicans in an effort to balance federal spending and reduce the national debt….The Biden administration has made clear it won’t go along with such proposals, framing Republicans as the party that wants to defund the military and threaten social welfare programs.

“They are going to try to cut Social Security and Medicare. It could not be clearer,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain tweeted Monday, sharing a clip of Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) saying on Fox Business Network that major spending cuts would likely require changes to entitlement programs.

As Gangitano and Samuels note, “The Republican Study Committee’s fiscal 2023 model federal budget included increasing the Social Security eligibility age to reflect longevity. The committee argued that the adjustment would continue the gradual increase of the retirement age, noting that full retirement was raised to 67 in 2022.”

This is a really bad look for McCarthy and other Republican House leaders. “I can’t imagine a less persuasive case to the American people than, ‘Let me hollow out Medicare or I’ll set off an economic bomb that kills millions of jobs overnight,’” one Democratic strategist said.”

But the Republicans won’t be committing political suicide unless Democrats and the media insist they own it. It shouldn’t be hard. It’s up to Democrats – elected officials, party leaders and rank and file – to make sure young voters all across America understand that it is their health care and retirement that is on the GOP chopping block, and only one party is working to stop them.

One comment on “Dems Make House Republicans Squirm About Cuts to Social Security and Medicare

  1. Martin Lawford on

    The Social Security Trust Fund will be empty by 2035 according to its own trustees. When that happens, payroll taxes will be enough to pay only 77% of benefits. President Biden has proposed levying Social Security tax on earned income above $400,000 but that would not be nearly enough to make up for the deficit. Only 1.8% of taxpayers have incomes above $400,000, which includes investment income not subject to payroll tax. Even if you confiscated their entire incomes, that would not make up for the exhaustion of the Social Security Trust Fund. We could fund Social Security through the federal income tax, but we are running an annual deficit of $1.4 trillion as it is. The Republicans’ plan is unattractive but they have one and Biden does not.


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