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Sunday, November 21, 2021
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Are Republicans Cutting Social Security And Medicare

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His Tax Cut Isnt Helping The Economy But It Did Blow A Hole In The Budget That Hed Fill By Gutting Entitlement Programs

Health-care activists rally in front of the Capitol in March 2017 to highlight the changes then being sought in Medicaid in the Republican American Health Care Act.

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Later this evening, Donald Trump delivers his third State of the Union address. If past speeches are any indicator, we know tonight’s speech will be filled with a number of exaggerations and outright falsehoods — especially when it comes to the economy.

Since he signed the bill two years ago, Trump has heralded the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as this administration’s greatest accomplishment, declaring that

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. While the law gave giant tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations, the rest of us were left with crumbs — at best. The wage growth that Trump promised hasn’t materialized, and 100 million Americans are going to be left paying higher taxes.


Another opinion:Trump should offer a new deal for the middle class in his State of the Union speech

Now, Trump is using his tax cuts, which he promised would be a boon to the economy, as an excuse to threaten cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — programs Americans have been paying into with every paycheck, and programs the federal government is required, by law, to offer to every single eligible person.

Turns out everyone’s predictions were right: Republicans are targeting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. No surprise there.

Column: Mitch Mcconnell Says It Out Loud: Republicans Are Gunning For Social Security Medicare And Obamacare Next

Michael Hiltzik


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All Washington seems to be buzzing this week over a single question: Is Sen. Mitch McConnell deliberately trying to throw the election to the Democrats?

At the root of the debate are interviews the Senate majority leader gave to Bloombergand Reuters on Tuesday and Wednesday. McConnell identified “entitlements” — that’s Washington code for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — as “the real drivers of the debt” and called for them to be adjusted “to the demographics of the future.”

Translation: He wants to cut benefits.

In terms of Republican orthodoxy, McConnell’s remarks are nothing new. Sen. Marco Rubio and House Speaker Paul Ryan each made exactly the same point last November and December. McConnell himself has made the point before, including during a speech in his home state in 2013.

McConnell’s position on the social insurance programs fits in with Republican policy on the Affordable Care Act; as it happens, the majority leader also telegraphed a plan to try again to repeal the ACA after the midterm elections. That’s despite indications that the ACA is becoming more popular with the public, not less, and voters’ concerns about preserving its protections for those with preexisting conditions may be driving them to the polls — and not to vote Republican.


It’s true that Democrats are using these comments against the Republicans, but one can hardly deny that the Republicans handed them the ammunition.

Republican Senators Push Social Security Medicare And Medicaid Cuts After Supporting Ineffective Tax Cuts

Republicans Target Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

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The economy is recovering from the depths of the pandemic in large part due to the massive relief packages that Congress passed in 2020 and 2021. Just in time for this recovery, Senate Republicans are pushing for cuts to vital programs. According to news reports, five GOP senators are proposing a commission that would come up with proposals to balance the federal budget within a decade. Given that four of the five sponsors of this idea have signed on to the tax pledge to never, ever under any circumstances raise taxes, they are looking for programs to cut. They consequently take aim mainly at cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

These targeted programs are already and will continue to prove crucial to the financial and physical health of millions of Americans that have suffered from the pandemic. Many workers, especially older ones, have lost their jobs permanently and will move into early retirement with permanently lower benefits and little or no savings outside of those benefits. Millions of Americans, again particularly among older ones, experience long-term consequences from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel virus. Those hardest hit by pandemic will need strong, expanded retirement and health benefits, not cuts to an already basic system.

Fact Check: ‘record’ Job Gains Still Leave The Us Labor Market In Worse Shape Than Great Recession

On the last night of his party’s convention, President Trump bragged about “record” job gains in recent months, but the 9.1 million jobs he touts come with some qualifiers.


“Over the past three months, we have gained over nine million jobs, and that’s a record in the history of our country,” Trump said Thursday.

The recent job gains are still less than half the number of jobs the economy shed in March and April at the height of pandemic-ordered lockdowns. From March through July, the economy lost a net 12.9 million jobs, the most in American history.

The nearly 2 million jobs added in July also represent a sharp slowdown from the almost 5 million jobs added in June. 

And several major groups of workers are at greater risk of falling behind. Black unemployment, at 14.6 percent in July, registered less than a percentage point of improvement. Among Hispanics, the rate of unemployment also remained elevated at nearly 13 percent, compared to just nearly 9 percent for white workers.

Declaring victory is premature, especially as COVID-19 continues to inflict staggering damage to the economy, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.


“It still has a long way to go, and risks falling back in as the pandemic continues to rage and causes more layoffs and curtails hiring,” he said.

    Filling Public Trustee Jobs For Medicare And Social Security Is A Step To Shoring Up The Programs

    Republican Senators Push Social Security, Medicare And ...

    The trust funds that support Social Security and Medicare are expected to run out of money. Policy experts argue Congress needs to act quickly to avoid benefit cuts.

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    Political parties don’t seem to agree on much these days, but at least 100 members split among Democrats and Republicans do share one common belief — Social Security is in dire need of help — and they want Congress to do something about it.

    The trust funds that support Social Security’s activities are expected to run out of money by 2035, and if that were to happen, beneficiaries would receive about 80% of what they’re owed. Medicare is in even more imminent danger — the Medicare Hospital Insurance fund, which supports inpatient care, is expected to be exhausted in 2026.


    The Bipartisan Policy Center and the National Academy of Social Insurance released a letter this month, with 100 signatures from both political parties, addressing this issue, and one way to go about fixing it.

    In the letter, Republicans and Democrats call on Congress to act on pending nominations for the public trustee roles for the boards of Social Security and Medicare, which have been vacant since 2015. These roles are supposed to be filled by two people, one Democrat and one Republican, who will work with the boards of Social Security and Medicare to provide guidance for these programs from an independent, nongovernmental perspective.

    See: This word describes Social Security — but not everyone agrees

    Will Republicans Cut Social Security And Medicare For Poor And Elderly To Pay For Their Tax Plan

    U.S.RepublicansSocial SecurityMedicareDonald Trump


    Senate Democrats are warning constituents that the newly passed Republican tax overhaul could lead to significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs.

    President Donald Trump said last week that entitlement cuts will, “take place right after taxes, very soon, very shortly after taxes” despite promising on the campaign trail that he would not touch entitlement programs. “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he said as a candidate.

    Key Democrats are already campaigning against the potential cuts. ” dream has been to undo those programs, give massive tax breaks to those who don’t need them, and take us back to the 1920s,” said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at a rally on Sunday. Democratic Oregon Senator Ron Wyden agrees. “Republicans are already saying ‘entitlement reform’ and ‘welfare reform’ are next up on the docket. But nobody should be fooled—that’s just code for attacks on Medicaid, on Medicare, on Social Security, on anti-hunger programs,” he said.

    Social Security and Medicare are both rapidly approaching insolvency—Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund will be exhausted by 2029, and Social Security’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2034. Reform is necessary, but aiming to decrease fraud or to cut funding will not help the programs stay afloat.


    Is Trump Defunding Social Security And Medicare Concerns Mount After President’s Executive Order

    U.S.Donald TrumpExecutive OrderSocial SecurityMedicare

    President Donald Trump’s Saturday decision to sign an executive order to defer payroll taxes has fueled concerns that he is attempting to defund Social Security and Medicare, with the latest order drawing criticism from conservatives and liberals alike.

    “First one is on providing a payroll tax holiday to Americans earning less than $100,000 per year,” the president said during a Saturday press briefing. “In a few moments, I will sign a directive, instructing the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payment of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes…”

    Trump said that he would make the temporary tax deferral permanent if he was re-elected in November. “So I’m going to make them all permanent,” he said.

    Notably, this is not a tax cut. Under the wording of the executive order, the payments would simply be deferred until next year unless further actions were taken.

    Whether Trump’s executive orders, which also provided an extension of extra federal unemployment benefits at a reduced rate of $400 per month, will withstand legal scrutiny is a matter of debate. His decision came as Republicans and Democrats in Congress remained at an impasse over a new round of coronavirus economic stimulus legislation. Under the Constitution, Congress, not the Executive Branch, is granted power over spending federal funds.

    Fact Check: Trump Boasts Of Delivering Ppe Early In Pandemic Doesn’t Mention Ongoing Shortages

    “We shipped hundreds of millions of masks, gloves and gowns to our frontline health care workers. To protect our nation’s seniors, we rushed supplies, testing kits, and personal — to nursing homes, we gave everything you can possibly give and we’re still giving it because we’re taking care of our senior citizens,” Trump said on Thursday night, talking up his COVID-19 response.

    In the early days of the pandemic, the Trump administration did indeed procure millions of supplies, even flying personal protective equipment in from overseas, with much fanfare and often exaggerated numbers

    But Trump fails to mention that the shortages of PPE and critical testing supplies are ongoing. 

    One in five U.S. nursing homes faced severe shortages of PPE this summer, according to a study released in August. The American Medical Association decried the “persistent shortage” of N95 masks and other protective equipment yesterday.

    “It is hard to believe that our nation finds itself dealing with the same shortfalls in PPE witnessed during the first few weeks that SARS-CoV-2 began its unrelenting spread,” the group’s president, Dr. Susan Bailey, said on August 26th. “But that same situation exists today, and in many ways things have only gotten worse.”

      Republicans Will Cut Social Security And Medicare After Tax Plan Passes Says Marco Rubio

      U.S.SenateTax planRepublicansMedicare

      Update | Florida Senator Marco Rubio admits that the Republican tax cut plan, which benefits corporations and the wealthy, will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.

      To address the federal deficit, which will grow by at least $1 trillion if the tax plan passes, Congress will need to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security, Rubio told reporters this week. Advocates for the elderly and the poor have warned that entitlement programs would be on the chopping block, but this is the first time a prominent Republican has backed their claims.

      Expect all the guests on the Sunday shows to be Republicans explaining how they now have no choice but to slash Social Security & Medicare because the deficit has suddenly and mysteriously gotten much worse.

      — Bruce “Snarking and Barking” Bartlett December 1, 2017

      “You have got to generate economic growth because growth generates revenue,” Rubio said at a Politico conference. “But you also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries.”

      Rubio’s talk of structural change is vague but will likely include changing the rate and age of Social Security and Medicare payouts.

      So where does that money come from?

      Column: Keep Social Security And Medicare Reform Out In Daylight Where We Can All Watch

      6 Min Read

      CHICAGO – Charlie Rich, the late country music singer and songwriter, had it right when he crooned this famous line: “Oh, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors.” We need to remind Congress of the truth of that line as it tries to push a plan to negotiate changes to Social Security and Medicare as part of its latest pandemic relief bill.

      Yes, you heard that right – in the midst of a raging pandemic, Senate Republicans are focusing on cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

      That is the essence of the ironically named TRUST Act, the brainchild of Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican. The bill is on track to be folded into the GOP relief plan. It would create a behind-closed-doors process for legislators to make changes to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Translation: it would allow lawmakers to do something the public clearly does not want – namely, cut benefits.

      The TRUST Act calls for the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue reports within 45 days of its passage on the financial status of the federal trust funds for Social Security, Medicare and federal highways.

      That would be followed by closed-door meetings of congressionally appointed bipartisan committees tasked with recommending legislation to restore solvency of the funds by June 1 next year. Finally – and crucially – Congress would be required to give the proposals an up-or-down vote, with no amendments allowed.

      Social Security and Medicare do face financial challenges.

      Fact Check: Are Republicans Trying To Eliminate Social Security Medicare And Medicaid

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      Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island claimed that Republicans are seeking to “get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

      Verdict: False

      Republican leaders have not called for entitlement programs to be eliminated, although they have said they are looking to reform the programs in the coming years.

      Fact Check:

      Whitehouse, who was re-elected on Tuesday, made the claim in a campaign ad.

      “The Republicans have run enormous deficits up to provide tax cuts to big corporations, millionaires and billionaires,” he said. “Now that we have this deficit problem that we caused with our tax bill, they turn around and they say they got to get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

      While Republican leaders have said that entitlement programs need to be reformed, they have not called for their elimination.

      An MSNBC article cited in Whitehouse’s ad mentions Rep. Steve Stivers, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who expressed in August that bipartisan efforts are the only way to sustain entitlement programs.

      “The only way we’re going to be able to fix Social Security and Medicare is for the two parties to come together – the way that Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill – and figure out how to fix them together,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

      “People are quick to blame deficits on tax cuts but I don’t buy that,” Kudlow said. “Tax cuts promote growth and wages.”

      Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to .

      Fact Check: Trump Hammers Biden On Nafta Support Which He Said Killed Jobs He’s Right

      President Trump used part of his speech Thursday night to hammer Joe Biden on his support of “catastrophic” trade deals he said bled U.S. jobs to other countries.

      “Biden voted for the NAFTA disaster, the single worst trade deal ever enacted; he supported China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, one of the greatest economic disasters of all time. After those Biden calamities, the United States lost 1 in 4 manufacturing jobs,” Trump said. 

      This claim is true, although trade was not the only reason that U.S. companies shed these jobs.

      They Haven’t Taken A Dime From The Social Security Program That Isn’t Accounted For

      Will Republicans Cut Social Security And Medicare For Poor ...

      Another misconception is that the Republican Party stole money from the Social Security Trust and used it to fund wars. More specifically, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have come under intense scrutiny for borrowing from Social Security and “not putting the money back.”

      However, the truth of the matter is that Congress has been able to “borrow” Social Security’s excess cash for five decades, and it’s happened under every single president over that stretch. In fact, the Social Security Administration is required by law to purchase special-issue bonds and certificates of indebtedness with this excess cash. Please note the emphasis on “required by law” that I’ve added above. The federal government isn’t simply going to sit on this excess cash it borrows from Social Security. It’s spending this cash on various line items, which may be wars and the defense budget, as well as education, healthcare, and pretty much any other expenditure you can think of.

      This setup is actually a win-win for both parties. The federal government has a relatively liquid source of borrowing with the Social Security Trust, and the Trust is able to generate significant annual income from the interest it earns on its loans. Last year, $85.1 billion of the $996.6 billion that was generated by the program came from interest income.

      Opinion:trump Just Gave Away The Republican Game On Social Security And Medicare

      Davos went to President Trump’s head. Perhaps it was the rarefied air of the annual World Economic Forum, a place where billionaires congratulate one another on what they see as their unique virtues and smarts. Perhaps it was the ego boost, as Trump basked in acceptance by a high-end business crowd that once held him at arm’s length. But whatever the reason, it caused Trump to make a major mistake.

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      Trump gave away the Republican game on Social Security and Medicare.

      During an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, Trump was asked, “ entitlements ever be on your plate?” Entitlements are, of course, Washington-speak for Medicare and Social Security. Trump responded, “At some point they will be,” adding, “It’ll be toward the end of the year.” Just in case Trump misunderstood, Joe Kernen followed up, reminding him this was something he had “said you wouldn’t do in the past” and specifically mentioning Medicare. Trump cut him off. “Well, we’re going to look.”

      For Democrats, this is what’s generally known as a gimme — one that makes it more important than ever that the Democrats make sure their presidential nominee is someone who can take on Trump over the issue. That person is not former vice president Joe Biden, and that’s true no matter how many commercials he runs proclaiming, “Joe Biden has repeatedly voted to save Social Security.”

      Read more:

      Fact Check: Trump Claims Biden Wants To ‘close All Charter Schools’ That’s False

      “Biden also vowed to oppose school choice and close all charter schools, ripping away the ladder of opportunity for Black and Hispanic children,” Trump claimed on Tuesday night.

      This is false. The Biden campaign does not oppose charter schools, though they’ve advocated against for-profit charter schools and supported different regulations and oversight of the schools.

      And while “school choice” is a buzzy word, it can means different things to different people. Trump supports letting students take federal funds to private schools, something Joe Biden and many Democrats oppose, instead supporting allowing families to make choices within publicly-funded school districts.

        ‘we’ve Brought It Up With President Trump Who Has Talked About It Being A Second

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        Republicans on Capitol Hill say Donald Trump may be willing to cut Social Security and Medicare if he wins in 2020, reportedly describing the potential move as a “second-term project”.

        Several senators told the New York Times in a report published this week they spoke to the president about reducing the costs of the federal health care and retirement programmes — a move that would likely stir controversy in a presidential election season.

        Republicans have said cutting both programmes is crucial to reducing the nation’s deficit, which has ballooned under Mr Trump thanks, in part, to the GOP tax bill passed in 2017.

        Senator John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, described the process of cutting the costs of social security and medicare to the New York Times as “best done during divided government”.

        “We’ve brought it up with President Trump,” he added, “who has talked about out it being a second-term project.”

        Do Republicans In Congress Want To Take Away Social Security Medicare Medicaid

        It’s been a time-tested Democratic attack line: Republicans are going to take away your Medicare, or maybe your Social Security. We gave a variant of the line our 2011 Lie of the Year.

        Now the talking point has re-emerged, in a , from Oregon’s Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee:

        #TrumpTax was only the beginning. After giving massive tax giveaways to wealthy & powerful shareholders, Republicans in Congress are plotting to take away Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

        ? #TrumpTax was only the beginning. After giving massive tax giveaways to wealthy & powerful shareholders, Republicans in Congress are plotting to take away Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.https://t.co/9YTuAYnOWw

        — Ron Wyden March 29, 2018

        In reality, the notion that congressional Republicans are scheming to “take away” Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security is inaccurate.

        The Democratic news release

        The first piece of evidence undercutting the tweet’s message is actually linked in the tweet itself.

        An accompanying Senate Democratic press , dated March 27, starts by saying, “It’s only been a few months since Republicans jammed through their to corporate executives and wealthy shareholders. Now they’re planning on paying for it with huge cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, despite President Trump’s promises that he wouldn’t do so.”

        These quotes suggest the Republican in charge of the House continues to seek overhauls of the entitlement system.

        Featured Fact-check

        Meet The New Gop Plan To End Medicare Same As The Old Gop Plan To End Medicare

        We here in the Democratic Whip Press shop will give Republicans credit for their transparency. They are not even trying to hide the fact that their “Cut, Cap and End Medicare” bill would end the program’s guarantee.

        Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said yesterday the plan “basically mirrors the budget proposal that the House passed this year.”

        That would be the same Republican budget proposal that ends the Medicare guarantee and more than doubles heath care costs for seniors, all while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy.

        And the Republican “Cut, Cap and End Medicare” plan is no different.

        But don’t just take our word for it. According to theCenter on Budget and Policy Priorities, the measure:

        “…stands out as one of the most ideologically extreme pieces of major budget legislation to come before Congress in years, if not decades.”

        “…The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.”

        In addition, the extreme and draconian Republican proposal would reverse decades of precedent that exempt cuts to basic services for the most vulnerable among us. More from the CBPP:

        “Since the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law of 1985, all such laws have exempted the core basic assistance programs for the poorest Americans from such across-the-board cuts. “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” by contrast, specifically subjects all such programs to across-the-board cuts if its spending caps would be exceeded.”

        Democrats Urged To Reject Latest Gop Attempt To Hold Social Security ‘hostage’

        Jake Johnson

        Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday said he would be willing to vote to raise the federal debt ceiling in exchange for a policy that could result in cuts to Social Security and Medicare, a proposed trade-off that progressive advocacy groups implored Democrats to reject.

        “Fortunately, Democrats can protect Social Security and Medicare by raising the debt ceiling in the forthcoming reconciliation package.”—Alex Lawson, Social Security Works

        With members of Congress staring down an August deadline to increase the debt limit—the amount of money the federal government is legally permitted to borrow to meet its financial obligations—Graham toldBloomberg that he could bring himself to vote yes on a debt ceiling hike if Democrats agree to legislation establishing commissions tasked with crafting Social Security and Medicare “reforms.”

        But Social Security Works, a progressive advocacy organization, was quick to warn that Graham’s offer is a thinly veiled trap.

        “Lindsey Graham and his fellow Republicans will stop at nothing to cut the American people’s earned Social Security and Medicare benefits,” Alex Lawson, executive director of Social Security Works, said in a statement. “Graham has now telegraphed his party’s intention to demand a commission to cut Social Security and Medicare as the price for raising the debt ceiling.”

        Democrats Risk Unintended Medicare Cuts If They Pass Partisan Covid Relief

        Sahil Kapur

        WASHINGTON — Democrats considering a maneuver to forgo bipartisan support to pass Covid-19 relief are confronting an unintended consequence: Doing so could automatically cut Medicare.

        Many Democrats want to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal, which includes $1,400 stimulus checks and aid to local governments. A group of Republican senators is pushing for a smaller plan that would provide $1,000 checks.

        So Democratic leaders are preparing to use a process known as budget reconciliation, which would allow them to pass Biden’s proposal without getting 60 votes in the Senate, which would require at least 10 Republicans.

        But under the Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, known as PAYGO, new laws that raise the national debt automatically trigger offsetting cuts in some safety net programs.

        The Republican Obsession With Dismantling Social Security And Medicare

        Republicans Want to Cut The Deficit by Cutting Social ...

        The Republicans are desperate to destroy Social Security and Medicare. These two programs demonstrate government at its best. The federal government runs these two extremely popular programs more efficiently, universally, securely, and effectively than the private sector does with its alternatives — or indeed could, no matter how well those private sector programs were designed.

        Because Social Security and Medicare are government programs that work so well, the Republican elite — with its seemingly religious belief that the private sector is always the best — hates them. So obsessed are the Republicans in their desire to eliminate these effective government programs that the very first action that House Republicans took in the new Congress was to adopt a rules package that included a new rule that amounts to a stealth attack on Social Security and Medicare.

        The rules package, adopted at the start of every new Congress, sets out how the chamber will operate for the next two years. This year’s package is already infamous for provisions in the initial version that would have gutted the Office of Congressional Ethics — provisions that were ultimately dropped after a massive outcry from the American people. Unnoticed by most was an additional provision, which is one part of the Republican game plan to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

        Trump Keeps Proposing Entitlement Cuts And Then Denying That He Did So

        In 2015 and ’16, Trump differentiated himself from the rest of the Republican presidential hopefuls by campaigning on a vow to not cut entitlements.

        “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” Trump told the Daily Signal, a conservative publication affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, in 2015.

        As his budget proposals indicate, this promise was an empty one. Trump, however, seems to realize that cutting entitlements is a political loser for him, and as a result has continued to make assertions about preserving them that are at odds with reality.

        All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well!

        — Donald J. Trump October 18, 2018

        Last month, however, Trump seemed to have a moment of radical honesty when he told CNBC during an interview conducted in Davos that “at some point” entitlement cuts will be on the table.

        CNBC: Will entitlements ever be on your plate ?TRUMP: “At some point they will be”CNBC: But you said you wouldn’t do that in the pastTRUMP: “We also have assets that we never had” pic.twitter.com/FgZnzYz33l

        — Aaron Rupar January 22, 2020

        Those comments created a negative stir, so the very next day Trump tried to walk them back.

        Fast-forward less than a month, and Trump is again pushing entitlement cuts. It’s whiplash-inducing.

        How Trump Is Proposing Changing Medicare Medicaid And Social Security

        When it comes to Medicare, the White House has been very clear: “He’s not cutting Medicare in this budget,” Vought said. “What we are doing is putting forward reforms that lower drug prices. Because Medicare pays a very large of drug prices in this country, has the impact of finding savings. We are also finding waste, fraud, and abuse.”

        Here’s what’s actually happening: This budget proposes finding $845 billion in savings over 10 years from Medicare as we know it. But $269 billion of that figure is reclassified under the Department of Health and Human Services, bringing the Medicare cuts to $575 billion. As Vox explained, the administration says it will achieve these cost reductions by targeting wasteful spending and provider payments and lowering prescription drug costs.

        The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates for fiscal responsibility, estimates that 85 percent of these cuts will come from reductions in provider payments, 5 percent would come from policies around medical malpractice, and 11 percent would come from reducing drug costs through the Medicare Part D program. Medicare Part D is the only area of these reforms that could raise out-of-pocket drug prices for some while lowering it for others. Otherwise, premiums, deductibles, and copays would largely be left unaffected.

        But when it comes to Trump’s proposed changes to Medicaid and Social Security, the intent is unambiguous: These are cuts to benefits.


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