Despite his promise in 2016 that he would never touch Medicare or Social Security, President Donald Trump said out loud on Thursday evening that he intends to cut both programs if he is re-elected in November.
Long considered the third rail of American politics, so much so that even former President Dwight Eisenhower noted that any politician who messes with them is “stupid,” Social Security and Medicare cuts had been included as part of Trump’s budget or he has merely said that he’s willing to entertain cutting them.
But during a town hall event on Fox News, Trump unequivocally admitted that he is targeting both programs for cuts should he win a second term.
“We — when these trade deals kick in, you know this economy is the best economy we’ve ever had,” Trump falsely claimed. “It’s nothing to what it’s going to be when the trade deals kick in.”
“But if you don’t cut something in entitlements, you’ll never really deal with that,” Martha MacCallum replied.
“We’ll be cutting, but we’re also going to have growth like you’ve never had before,” Trump concluded.
Here’s the video via Twitter:
? Trump says “we’ll be cutting” entitlements like Medicare and Social Security ? pic.twitter.com/6XRKE9joYz
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) March 6, 2020
It’s a stunning admission that should send seniors running to polling places across the country in November to vote against him. Because Trump certainly doesn’t have their best interests at heart if he is coming for their Social Security and Medicare, two programs that every American has contributed to and has earned by the time they reach their golden years.
Naturally, Americans were outraged and took to Twitter t sound the alarm.
BREAKING: An hour who @JoeBiden said that he will expand Social Security. Moments ago Donald Trump just admitted that, if re-elected, he will cut Social Security. If you are over the age of 62, Biden is better for your bank account. PERIOD#TrumpTownHall pic.twitter.com/qVXeTHNtYV
— Ms. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) March 6, 2020
TRUMP just said “We‘ll be cutting” in reference to “entitlements” — meaning along with health care, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are ALL on the ballot in November.
Make no mistake about that. Pass it on. ?? pic.twitter.com/jwS8m3gnEj
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 6, 2020
At a softball Fox News townhall tonight Trump let slip that he plans to cut Social Security and Medicare.
We’ve known it all along, but now he’s said it out loud.
Every American needs to know that a vote for him is a vote to strip these vital programs.pic.twitter.com/KVDHEvrWXG
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) March 6, 2020
Trump will cut your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to give even more tax breaks to billionaires and his buddies.
Unless we stop him in November. https://t.co/3jGysuonSy
— Swing Left (@swingleft) March 6, 2020
Re-electin’ Trump will give you lotsa choices, like which brand of cat food to eat. https://t.co/XgrILZAn5s
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) March 6, 2020
Yet again trump makes clear he intends to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid if he’s re-elected. Believe him. https://t.co/a5ZNol3aHD
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. (@BillPascrell) March 6, 2020
Trump told town hall audience tonight he’ll be cutting Social Security and Medicare (to pay for 1%/corporate tax cuts).
— carolee eades (@EadesCarolee) March 6, 2020
@MikeBloomberg @ksheekey @TimOBrien @howiewolf
Trump cut the health insurance for the sick infant grandson of his dead brother. His grand-nephew. His own flesh & blood. He did it out of spite. Are we really surprised he’s now cutting Social Security and Medicare for seniors?
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) March 6, 2020
It should also be pointed out that Social Security does not add a single penny to the deficit, and anyone who says otherwise is totally lying because the whole program is supported entirely by payroll taxes. As is part of Medicare.
According to Reuters:
By law, Social Security cannot contribute to the federal deficit, because it is required to pay benefits only from its trust funds. Those, in turn, are funded through a dedicated payroll tax of 12.4 percent of income, split evenly between employees and employers, levied on income (this year) up to $128,400.
Rising healthcare costs are the prime reason why Medicare is becoming a heavier burden on the deficit, but instituting universal healthcare and price controls would quickly and efficiently solve that problem.
The bottom line, however, is that these programs form the backbone of a social safety net that has been keeping seniors out of poverty for decades. Cutting them is not only cruel, even thinking about doing it should automatically disqualify that person from holding public office. Trump said it out loud, thus giving Democrats the gift of a campaign ad that can run over and over again across the country, and may have sealed his political doom.
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