It’s not just that Republicans have been pushing for cutting or phasing out Social Security and Medicare for decades. They are now demanding that President Biden agree not to say what their policy is. The demand amounts to this: despite the fact that Republicans have been demanding cuts and a phase out for decades and despite the fact they will continue to do so after the current burst of media attention abates, Biden must stop telling voters about this because Republicans have momentarily agreed to deny what their policy is. Indeed, what’s especially weird is how many Republicans can’t help restating their demand for cuts even while denying their demands for cuts.
There are so many examples of this it’s hard to know where to start. But since you have to start somewhere I’ve begun a list of quotes supporting cuts from Republican members who now claim they’ve never supporting cutting Social Security.
Have other examples? Send me them.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): Johnson denies President Biden’s claim that Republicans want to cut Social Security. But after saying this he then called Social Security a “legalized Ponzi scheme” and says that Congress should no longer automatically pay Social Security benefits each year but rather decide each year whether to pay them and how much the benefit should be. “That doesn’t mean putting on the chopping block,” Johnson told local radio. “That doesn’t mean cutting Social Security. But it does mean prioritizing lower priority spending.”
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT): Mike Lee also denies President Biden’s claim that Republicans want to cut Social Security. But running for Senate in 2010 he told supporters: “It will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.”
Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA): Steve Scalise also denies President Biden’s claims that Republicans want to cut Social Security: But just late last year Scalise support the proposed budget of the Republican Study Committee which, according to Politico, “rais[es] the eligibility ages for each program, along with withholding payments for individuals who retire early or had a certain income, and privatized funding for Social Security to lower income taxes.” After the State of the Union, Scalise said Biden’s claims have been “inaccurate for a long time,” by which he presumably means ten weeks. But even while insisting the President was lying he endorsed yet more cuts. “We want to strengthen Social Security by ending a lot of those government checks to people staying at home rather than going to work.”
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL): In his official agenda for 2022 Republican Senate candidate Scott proposed sunsetting (i.e., ending) every federal program, including Social Security and Medicare, after five years.