Why Is Trump Channeling Democrat Talking Points?
In another of Donald Trump’s failures of message discipline the former President took a
swipe at a completely non-existent problem – the imaginary idea that House Republicans plan to “cut” Social Security and/or Medicare to solve the Nation’s debt crisis.
On Friday Reuters reported Trump warned his fellow Republicans on Friday not to "destroy" federal retirement and health benefits as they try to exact spending cuts from President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in the looming debate over the debt ceiling.
"Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security," Trump said in a two-minute video message posted to social media. "Do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save Social Security. Don't destroy it!"
Trump’s video is a warning to his fellow party members not to go there. Instead, he suggests targeting foreign aid, cracking down on migration, ending “left wing gender programs from our military,” and “billions being spent on climate extremism.”
Social Security, which provides retirement and disability payments, accounted for 17% of federal spending in the 2021 fiscal year, while Medicare, the health-insurance program for seniors, accounted for 13%, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Both programs are projected to grow dramatically in coming years due to an aging population, Reuters reported.
The Washington Post reported, “Some GOP lawmakers have raised the prospect of seeking changes to popular entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare.” However, the Nation’s newspaper of record failed to identify one Republican lawmaker who advocated cutting Social Security or Medicare.
The Democrats’ imaginary GOP plan to cut Social Security was helped when Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) issued a midterm campaign agenda that called for requiring all legislation to be renewed every five years — or wiped off the books.
Democrats stressed that Social Security and Medicare were created by legislation and claimed Scott and his plan wanted to “cut” Social Security and Medicare when Scott’s proposal said no such thing.
However, at event after event, Biden accused Republicans of wanting to put the two programs “on the chopping block,” pointing to Scott’s plan, even though it made no explicit call to cut Medicare or Social Security.
While it is true Republicans have vowed not to raise the federal government’s borrowing capacity unless Biden makes steep cuts to federal spending, but no one has mentioned “cutting” Social Security or Medicare. Indeed, the last Republican to talk seriously about Social Security or Medicare “reform” was now-disgraced former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The Washington Post’s John Wagner observed Mr. Trump seems to blame Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election on his running mate. Trump said that Romney was hurt by Ryan’s previous calls to change Social Security and other entitlement programs for the elderly.
“That was the end of that campaign, by the way, when they chose Ryan,” Trump said in February 2016. “And I like him. He’s a nice person, but that was the end of the campaign.”
Shortly after Republican nominee Romney picked Ryan as his running mate, the progressive policy group Agenda Project Action Fund ran an ad attacking Ryan’s stance on Medicare that showed an elderly woman in a wheelchair being thrown off a cliff by a man in a dark suit. The message on the screen: “Mitt Romney made his choice. … Now you have to make yours.”
With all due respect to the former President, as far as we can tell, the only people actually talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare are Democrats engaging in their biannual game of accusing Republicans of wanting to push Grandma off a cliff.
Someone should tell former President Trump that Paul Ryan is (praise the Lord) no longer Speaker and when he raises imaginary issues – like House Republicans wanting to “cut” Social Security or Medicare – all he is doing is helping the Democrats undermine Kevin McCarthy – the present Speaker of the House whom he helped install.
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