With Republicans telling us, collectively, “Who are you going to believe? Us or your lyin’ eyes?” the work of de-bamboozling is never done. Don’t thank me now. Just remember to sign up to become a member.
As we noted earlier, Republicans are now aghast that anyone would be claiming they want to cut Social Security. But last year the Republican Study Committee — a House caucus which includes about 75% of all House Republicans — released a proposed 2023 budget which included basically every kind of Social Security cut on offer.
The Blueprint to Save America proposed raising the eligibility age at first to 70 and then higher if and when life expectancy goes up; it proposed cutting (or in their words “modernizing”) the benefit formula for everyone currently 54 and under; means-testing Social Security benefits; including work requirements for some Social Security beneficiaries; and allowing people to divert payroll taxes into private investment accounts — aka “retirement freedom.”
(See details on pages 81-82 of the Blueprint to Save America.)
Earlier I noted there are three broad buckets of proposed cuts to Social Security which program foes push for. Three quarters of House Republicans just proposed steep versions of all three and actually included a couple more I didn’t even think to mention.
RSC members are out hitting the airwaves now claiming that none of this ever happened. In fact, new RSC Chair Rep. Kevin Hern (OK), who oversaw the creation of the Blueprint, says this: “There is NO Republican in Washington, DC, in the House of Representatives or the Senate, that wants to CUT the benefits for seniors on Social Security and Medicare. That’s a falsehood. That’s a lie.”
How can he be saying this? Note the wording: no cuts for current beneficiaries. At least according to Hern and his Committee colleagues, you’ll be safe if you’re already on Social Security. The cuts will apply to people in the workforce now. The cuts apply to everyone except those already on Social Security and those just a few years away from becoming eligible.
As you can see, it’s really all word games and flimflam. Republicans are shocked!, outraged, **frustrated** that President Biden has the effrontery to claim they want to cut Social Security while they are simultaneously on the record proposing exactly the cuts he claims they support.