FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY: Donald Trump Confirmed He Would Gut Social Security and Medicare in a Second Term
January 22, 2024
On the four-year anniversary of Donald Trump declaring he would gut Social Security and Medicare during a second term, DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd released the following statement:
“Donald Trump can’t hide from his own words: He told the American people four years ago that he would cut Social Security and Medicare if he ever got a second term in office, and has only doubled down on his pledge to gut these critical programs since then. After proposing disastrous cuts to Social Security and Medicare in every single one of his budgets as president, Trump is still running on the same out-of-touch plans that would threaten the pocketbooks of America’s seniors. It’s yet another piece of a losing agenda that Trump and MAGA Republicans will regret come November.”
FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY: Donald Trump said he would cut Social Security and Medicare in a second term in office – essential programs America’s seniors rely on.
National Review: “Speaking with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump was asked whether he would cut entitlements at some point. ‘Will entitlements ever be on your plate?’ asked interviewer Joe Kernen. ‘At some point they will be,’ Trump responded. ‘At the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s the easiest of all things [to cut].’”
CNN: “Trump now says he’s open to entitlement cuts, including Medicare”
Trump continued to admit throughout his 2020 campaign that he would pursue cuts to Medicare and Social Security programs if he were to have a second term in office – including threatening the programs’ financial standing by promising to permanently eliminate the taxes that fund both programs.
Mediaite: “During a Fox News town hall, President Donald Trump promised to cut entitlements like Medicare and Social Security if were to win a second term. … ‘But if you don’t cut something in entitlements, you will never really deal with the debt,’ town hall co-moderator Martha MacCallum interjected, alluding to social safety programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. ‘Oh, we’ll be cutting,’ Trump rushed to confirm.”
Washington Post: “President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs.”
Trump: “If we win … the payroll tax will be rescinded.”
CNN: “Eliminating the payroll tax could deplete the Social Security trust fund within three years if there’s no alternative source of revenue, according to the agency’s chief actuary.”
Associated Press: “Trump, in effect, has proposed a dramatic restructuring of how Social Security is financed by not relying on the payroll tax as a dedicated source, but instead by tapping the general fund. … The risk is that the loss of a dedicated funding source could destabilize an anti-poverty program that provides payments to roughly 65 million Americans. It also could force people to cut back on the spending that drives growth so they can save for their own retirement and health care needs if they believe the government backstop is in jeopardy. … It is highly unlikely that economic growth would be enough to offset the loss of the payroll tax. Indeed, Trump suggested that his 2017 income tax cuts would propel economic growth as high as 6% annually. That never happened.”
Trump owns his extreme record of proposing cuts to Medicare and Social Security programs in EVERY SINGLE ONE of his budgets.
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.”
Vox: “Trump said he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare. His 2020 budget cuts all 3.”
Trump has long made calls to privatize Social Security and even praised Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as they pushed plans to end Medicare as we know it.
CNN: “Trump previously backed policies on Social Security for which he’s now attacking DeSantis, calling the program a ‘Ponzi scheme’”
“Former President Donald Trump once backed raising the retirement age to 70 and called for privatizing Social Security which he called a ‘Ponzi scheme’ – two positions he has hammered Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for supporting as a former member of Congress and congressional candidate. … but a CNN KFile review found Trump himself also once praised Ryan on Medicare, along with the 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, without praising their specific policy proposal, which called for similar changes to Ryan’s plan.”
Nikki Haley is also campaigning on ending Social Security and Medicare as we know them.
CNN: “Haley has called for several changes to the nation’s safety net programs, including increasing the age at which today’s younger workers would become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and limiting the growth of benefits the wealthy receive.”
Haley: “What they need to be doing is looking at entitlements. 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.”
Haley: “Any candidate that says they’re not going to touch entitlements, means that they’re basically going to go into office and leave America bankrupt. … We change retirement age to reflect life expectancy.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin: “Are you on board with cutting entitlements in a big and meaningful way?”
Haley: “Social security goes bankrupt in 10 years, Medicare goes bankrupt in eight. Anyone that says they’re not going to take on entitlement reform means they’re going to go in and be president and leave the country bankrupt. You can’t do that.”
Associated Press: “Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is proposing changes to entitlement programs for younger generations, opening the door to potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare if elected.”
Washington Post: “Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U. N. 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.”
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.’”
MAGA Republicans’ plan to gut Social Security and Medicare is highly unpopular with Americans.
Fox News: “Fox News Poll: 71% choose funding Social Security, Medicare over budget cuts”
Sahil Kapur, NBC News: “Digging deeper into this @FoxNews finding. Support for funding entitlements like Social Security & Medicare over reducing deficits is overwhelming with the GOP base:
Trump voters 59-37%
Rural voters 70-26%
White non-college voters 73%-24%”
CNN: “Nearly 67 million Americans have received monthly Social Security benefits this year, and more than 66 million people are enrolled in Medicare. Polling shows little support for major changes to the programs themselves to help shore up their finances.
“A March CNN/SSRS poll of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, for instance, found that 59% said it was ‘essential’ that the GOP nominee for president ‘pledges to maintain Social Security and Medicare as they are.’”
Associated Press: “Most oppose Social Security, Medicare cuts: AP-NORC poll”
Axios: “Nearly 9 in 10 Americans say they oppose reducing spending on Social Security or Medicare, according to new polling from our Axios-Ipsos Two Americas Index.”