2024 Republicans Are Campaigning On Cutting Social Security and Medicare
February 17, 2023
The 2024 GOP field is leaning into their support for cutting Social Security and Medicare. With Mike Pence and Nikki Haley leading the charge, Republicans are making their embrace of ending these programs as we know it one of their first policy proposals in order to appeal to the MAGA base.
This morning, Nikki Haley doubled down on her calls to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block again.
NHJournal: “On entitlement programs, [Nikki Haley] says ‘you have to look at entitlements.’ ‘Let’s not dig our head in the sand and say ‘we’re not going to do anything about entitlements,’ we have to.’”
Haley: “The younger generation – we go and we do a new system on how they’re going to get [Social Security and Medicare].”
Washington Post: “Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador who is planning to announce her own presidential bid this month, also praised Ryan’s Medicare proposal at the time and said lawmakers should examine Medicare and Social Security spending to address federal debt.”
“‘What they need to be doing is looking at entitlements,’ Haley said in a 2010 interview on Fox News. ‘Look at Social Security. Look at Medicaid. Look at Medicare. Look at these things, and let’s actually go to the heart of what is causing government to grow, and tackle that.’”
Semafor: “As governor of South Carolina at the time, Nikki Haley praised the [Paul Ryan] fiscal blueprint for ‘trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity.’”
Mike Pence is essentially campaigning on his push to partially privatize Social Security.
Pence: “I think we can replace the New Deal programs… to give options to younger Americans to invest a portion of their Social Security in a private savings account.”
Semafor: “Mike Pence isn’t running from his old fiscal conservatism. Instead, he’s seemingly leaning into it by talking about privatizing Social Security, an idea the party largely abandoned after a politically damaging push in 2005.
“‘I think the day could come where we can replace the New Deal with a Better Deal,’ he said during an interview in February. ‘Literally give younger Americans the ability to take a portion of their Social Security withholdings and put that into a private savings account that the government would oversee.’”
Let’s not forget: Every year they were in office, Pence stood behind Donald Trump’s proposed budgets that called to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security programs.
Washington Post: “His avowed stance, however, is at odds with Trump’s own record as president: Each of his White House budget proposals included cuts to Social Security and Medicare programs.”
Pence and Haley are far from the only Republicans who have supported measures that could put Social Security and Medicare at risk.
Yahoo: “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, widely considered to be Trump’s chief competitor for the nomination at the moment — if he decides to get in the race — regularly supported increasing the retirement age for Social Security when he was in Congress.”
Washington Post: “Other potential entrants in the Republican primary, such as former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) and South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, also voted for Ryan’s budget when they were in Congress.”
“‘There’s no doubt that we have to wrestle this beast to the ground and do the right thing,’ Scott said on Fox News in 2012. ‘The fact is that if we don’t start having a real conversation about people in their 40s and younger about the transformation of the system, it won’t be available for folks now in their 20s and 30s.’”
Washington Post: “In recent days, a group of GOP lawmakers has called for the creation of special panels that might recommend changes to Social Security and Medicare, which face genuine solvency issues that could result in benefit cuts within the next decade. Others in the party have resurfaced more detailed plans to cut costs, including by raising the Social Security retirement age to 70, targeting younger Americans who have yet to obtain federal benefits.”