Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Donald Trump has been all over the map on Social Security and Medicare

By 37ci3 Mar19,2024

WASHINGTON – When former President Donald Trump he said last week “There’s only so much you can do in terms of rights, in terms of clipping,” on CNBC caused an immediate protest President Joe Biden has begun a battle over pension programs that could last until the 2024 election.

Trump tried to clean it up, he says in an interview with the conservative website Breitbart, “I will never do anything to jeopardize or harm Social Security or Medicare.” Biden campaign spokesman James Singer accused Trump of “deceiving voters,” saying, “Donald Trump has tried to cut Social Security and Medicare by billions of dollars every year he’s been in office.”

At the heart of the debate is a ticking clock: Actuaries say Medicare will pay through 2028 and Social Security through 2033. After that, unless more income is added, benefits will be forcibly cut. Biden’s new budget calls for tax increases on top earners to protect benefits. Trump did not say how he would solve the shortfall, leaving it an open question. His campaign was not elaborated on several occasions when asked for comment.

So what is Trump’s real record on Social Security and Medicare?

An NBC News investigation found that his views have zigzagged over the years, from calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” in 2000, to endorsing GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans to restructure Medicare in 2012, and declaring himself an advocate for the programs in 2016. as far as placement. The White House targets some pension spending in their budget (it never becomes law).

Before Trump’s presidency

In his 2000 co-authored book, The America We Deserve, Trump called Social Security a “big Ponzi scheme” that American workers are forced to pay. He added that for future retirees under 40 then, “we might as well raise the age to receive full Social Security benefits to seventy” because “we’re living longer.”

In December 2004, just before Republicans pushed to partially privatize the program, Trump was asked on MSNBC’s “Hardball” whether he would support individual retirement accounts. he answered: “I think I would. Something must be done. Social security is currently a big problem, it is financed.”

In 2012, Trump praised Ryan, then the Republican vice presidential nominee, for proposals to turn Medicare into a “premium support” system that would cap costs for future retirees and provide vouchers to buy insurance plans.

“I think Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are going to save Medicare. I know they will. And people are starting to understand that. They’re going to be very happy with what’s going on, but if Obama gets in, they’re going to be very, very unhappy,” Trump said. This was reported by Fox News When covering the 2012 presidential race. “I think if Obama gets in and Obamacare doesn’t end, Medicare will be a thing of the past.” (President Barack Obama opposed the Ryan plan and was re-elected; Obamacare and Medicare still exist seven years after he left office.)

By 2015, when Trump was running for president, he tried to portray himself as the rare candidate in the Republican field who did not cut these programs. “Like every Republican, I’m not going to cut Social Security, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” he said when starting his campaign.

Trump’s White House record

The Biden campaign’s claim that Trump tried to cut spending under Social Security and Medicare while in office has merit, but it misses some basic context.

Trump’s 2021 financial budget He approved billions of dollars in welfare cuts for disabled seniors. His budget would make changes to Social Security Disability Insurance, reducing the maximum amount of retroactive benefits for disabled workers from 12 months to six. According to the Liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, could lead to cut an average of $7,500 for an employee injured in a car accident. The budget also called for cuts to Supplemental Security Income benefits for those living with other SSI recipients.

As for Medicare, Trump’s White House budgets did not call for benefits cuts. His fiscal 2020 plan called for Medicare changes to lower payments to providers and suppliers through new incentives and a lower inflation rate. Biden and the Democrats passed the same kind of “cuts” under Obamacare, which expanded Medicare’s ability to pay by reducing payments to hospitals and insurers in exchange for more customers.

Trump’s budgets also focus on saving money by reducing waste and fraud, but were vague about how. Still, he never forced Congress to act, and his plans never became law.

Like the president, Trump pointed when asked a question he would be open to changing or “cutting” programs in the second term.

When asked on CNBC in January 2020 whether the rights would ever be “on your plate,” he said, “At some point they will be.” He added: “We will look at it in due course. You know, in fact, this is the easiest of all.”

He did not provide specific information.

In March 2020, a Fox News town hall was pressed about the need to cut “entitlements” to reduce the debt. Trump responded: “Oh, we’re going to cut, but we’re also going to grow like you’ve never seen.”

And on Medicaid, Trump quickly backtracked on his promise to oppose benefit cuts. He pushed hard to repeal Obamacare in 2017, which would have rolled back Medicaid coverage for millions of people. A repeal initiative has failed in Congress, and Trump recently failed It revived calls to “repeal” Obamacare.

Trump’s 2024 campaign

Trump, who is running for a second term, picked up where he started in 2016, attacking Republican primary rivals such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for supporting pension cuts. But he hasn’t laid out his own 2024 plan or given any indication that he will depart from GOP orthodoxy by raising taxes to fund the programs.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not directly respond when asked to elaborate on how to maintain Social Security and Medicare solvency or whether new tax revenue is on the table to prevent benefits cuts.

On CNBC last week, Trump said there was “very poor administration of rights” and “a lot of things and a lot of things you can do,” without mentioning them.

Caroline Leavitt, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, said she was open to “cutting” the programs, saying Biden was “the only candidate” who would threaten them, and claimed the “millions of illegal aliens” in the US would do it. Social Security and Medicare will crumble and collapse.” He said Trump would “quickly rebuild the greatest economy in history and put Social Security and Medicare on a stronger foundation for generations to come.”

But immigrants who are in the country illegally arenat fit For Social Security and Medicare benefits. The Social Security actuary said unauthorized workers “have a positive impact on the financial health of the Social Security program.” For example, he estimated that in 2010 they produced a net surplus 12 billion dollars in tax receipts to the program.

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By 37ci3

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