Trump and DeSantis Fight Over Who Has the Worst Record of Supporting Cuts to Social Security and Medicare
May 9, 2023
Ron DeSantis is hitting back at Donald Trump for Trump’s yearslong record of supporting cuts to Medicare and Social Security and for his praise of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as they pushed plans to end Medicare as we know it. But that won’t change DeSantis’s own history of supporting cuts to these programs. Even as they continue trading blows back and forth on their MAGA agendas, the fact is that Trump and DeSantis have both called for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
While DeSantis is attacking Trump for his record, DeSantis himself has repeatedly and consistently supported cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
Semafor: “During his time in Congress, meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis voted for a series of budget resolutions crafted by the conservative Republican Study Committee that would have voucherized Medicare for new beneficiaries, slowed Social Security cost of living increases, and raised the retirement age for both programs.”
CNN: “A CNN KFile review of comments from DeSantis’ 2012 congressional campaign found he repeatedly said he supported plans to replace Medicare with a system in which the government paid for partial costs of private plans or a traditional Medicare plan. In one interview with a local newspaper, DeSantis said he supported ‘the same thing’ for Social Security, citing the need for ‘market forces’ to restructure the program.”
Washington Post: “‘I support what Ryan is trying to do in terms of reforming entitlements,’ DeSantis said in a 2012 newspaper questionnaire. ‘It’s not a voucher, it’s premium support.’
“As a member of Congress, DeSantis voted for three nonbinding budget resolutions calling for raising the retirement age and slowing future spending growth for Social Security.
“He received a 0 percent rating from the Alliance for Retired Americans, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. During a previous showdown over the debt limit in 2013, DeSantis said he supported including Social Security and Medicare in the negotiations.
“‘I think we need to restructure some of these entitlements,’ he said in a 2013 CNN interview. ‘I think we should try to look at entitlements, look at restructuring Medicare so it’s delivering services at a lower cost to the taxpayer.’”
Trump has repeatedly gone after DeSantis for his support for cutting Social Security and Medicare, but Trump himself has a yearslong record of going after these programs — and even proposed 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.”
CNN: “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.”
CNBC: “JOE KERNEN: Entitlements ever be on your plate?
“PRESIDENT TRUMP: At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I– it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a–
“JOE KERNEN: If you’re willing–
“PRESIDENT TRUMP: –big percentage.”
Axios: “Trump suggests entitlement cuts could come in his second term”