What was once an open secret in Republican circles is now a public talking point: The massive Trump Tax Scam rammed through Congress late last year was intentionally designed to drive up the deficit in order to justify gutting Medicare and Social Security.
Rep. Steve Stivers, the Wall Street lackey in charge of re-electing Republicans to Congress, just proudly confessed that the tax cuts for corporations and the ultra-rich could soon be paid for by slashing Social Security and Medicare.1
This manufactured crisis concocted by Paul Ryan and his extremist Republican colleagues in Congress to reward their billionaire donors on the backs of seniors and working people is not only shameful, it’s a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who have worked their whole lives to earn these benefits.
We must speak out now in full force to prevent Republicans from gutting these critical programs.
For some time now, Republicans have been hinting at what Rep. Stivers is now openly admitting:
- Before the Trump Tax Scam passed, Paul Ryan was talking about his plans to gut earned benefits. “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform,” he promised last year, suddenly rediscovering a passion for the deficit after pushing trillions in tax giveaways to the ultra-wealthy.2
- Sen. Tom Cole, who admitted his own ignorance about economic issues, recently claimed, “If someone wants to get serious about debt, come talk to me about entitlements.”3
- Sen. John Thune, when speaking about government spending in relation to the Tax Scam, said, “If we’re going to do something about spending and debt, we have to … take on making our entitlement programs more sustainable. I think there is support, generally, here for entitlement reform,” which is Republican-speak for slashing earned benefit programs.4
It’s obvious Republicans are whipping up a fake deficit hysteria after giving massive giveaways to the rich as a Trojan horse to attack our earned benefits. We must go all out to resist any cuts.
Medicare is a fundamental tool of economic security for more than 58 million seniors, and the program is overwhelmingly popular.5,6 But if Ryan and Stivers get their way, folks who have been working their whole lives counting on Medicare in their retirement won’t ever be able to enroll – instead they will get a check that might help cover their premium for private insurance, if they are lucky.7
What’s more, our Social Security system is separate from regular taxes and not affected by the deficit, so the claims by Republicans that cutting Social Security will solve their manufactured crisis are false on their face.8
Republicans cannot attack our earned benefits without a major fight. More than 70 percent of us rely on these programs at some point in our lives, and we are not going to let Ryan, McConnell and Trump dismantle them.9
Tell Congress: Keep your hands off Social Security and Medicare. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thank you for everything you do.
Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
- John Harwood, “A leading Republican urges reform for Medicare and Social Security as deficits balloon after the GOP’s tax cut,” CNBC, Aug. 20, 2018.
- Jeff Stein, “Ryan says Republicans to target welfare, Medicare, Medicaid spending in 2018,” The Washington Post, Dec. 6, 2017.
- John Harwood, “Rep. Tom Cole doesn’t trust the economists on GOP tax plan: ‘There are about as many economists as there are opinions.’” CNBC, Dec. 15, 2017.
- Jeff Stein, “Senate Republicans are divided over whether to pursue Medicare cuts in 2018,” The Washington Post, Dec. 11, 2017.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Medicare Enrollment Dashboard,” accessed Aug. 31, 2018.
- Dan Mangan, “Medicare, Medicaid popularity high: Kaiser,” CNBC, July 17, 2017.
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “Policy Basics: Understanding the Social Security Trust Funds,” July 23, 2018.
- Sarah Ayres Steinberg, “The Safety Net is Good Economic Policy,” Center for American Progress, March 31, 2014.
- Rachel West and Melissa Boteach, “House Republican Cuts to Nutrition Assistance Would Harm Families in Every State,” Center for American Progress, Aug. 8, 2017.