The radical right and the GOP’s billionaire donors have always opposed Social Security and Medicare because these programs prove that government can help the average American. These two programs have reduced the poverty rate among the elderly from 50% to 9%.
Republican opposition to Social Security began shortly after it passed in 1935. During his 1936 presidential campaign, Alf Landon campaigned against Social Security and only carried two states.
Despite Landon’s crushing defeat, the GOP persisted in its opposition to retirement security programs. During the debate over Medicare in the early 1960s, the American Medical Association hired Ronald Reagan to campaign against it. Reagan made the apocalyptic prediction that the passage of Medicare would mean the end of our freedom.
The next big Republican push to end Medicare as we know it was Newt Gingrich’s effort to fund a tax cut for the rich with cuts to Medicare. Gingrich threatened to default on the national debt and the D.C. Republicans shutdown the government two times in 1995–96. Gingrich’s extremism scared independent voters and laid the foundation for President Clinton’s big win in 1996.
George W. Bush took a run at Social Security shortly after he was re-elected. Even though he never mentioned it in his 2004 campaign, Bush falsely claimed that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security and turn it over to Wall Street. Bush barn stormed the country in 2005 in a failed effort to ram through his proposal. The failure of this campaign marked the beginning of Bush’s political decline.
In 2011, the Congressional Republicans repeated Gingrich’s stunt when they threatened to default on the national debt in a failed effort to cut Medicare. The Republican attempt to wreck the economy caused a 2,000 point drop in the Dow and crushed consumer confidence.
The D.C. Republicans still haven’t given up in their effort to cut retirement security programs. In 2022, prominent Republicans keep promising to cut Social Security and Medicare if they win the election. Earlier this year, Senator Rick Scott came out for sunsetting Social Security and Medicare every five years. Senator Ron Johnson wants to make Social Security and Medicare an annual appropriation. Lindsay Graham has promised cuts to Social Security.
After receiving a strong backlash, Mitch McConnell and Rick Scott allegedly walked back their regressive proposals. Subsequently, a Washington Post fact check actually believed them! Silly Washington Post! The D.C. Republicans continue to talk about cutting Social Security and Medicare. They aren’t giving up.
Bloomberg reported last week that four Republicans on the House Budget Committee plan to threaten a default on the national debt to bully Biden and the Democrats into cutting Social Security and Medicare. “Social Security and Medicare eligibility changes, spending caps, and safety-net work requirements are among the top priorities for key House Republicans who want to use next year’s debt-limit deadline to extract concessions from Democrats. The four Republicans interested in serving as House Budget Committee chairman in the next Congress said in interviews that next year’s deadline to raise or suspend the debt ceiling is a point of leverage if their party can win control of the House in the November midterm elections.” Bloomberg.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contended that GOP proposals constitute privatizing Social Security and “ending Medicare as we know it.” “House Republicans are openly threatening to cause an economic catastrophe in order to realize their obsession with slashing Medicare and Social Security,” Henry Connelly, a Pelosi spokesman, said in a statement to Bloomberg.
There is no doubt that Mike Flood and Don Bacon would vote with their party bosses to cut middle class retirement programs. Mike Flood has already voted with his party bosses to ban birth control, against an amber alert system for active shooter situations and to allow teenagers to purchase war weapons. He has shown no independence.
Don Bacon is a member of the radical Republican Study Committee, the largest group of House Republicans. Earlier this year, Bacon’s group introduced a bill that would raise the Medicare age of eligibility to 67 and the Social Security eligibility age to 70.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the MAGA Republicans’ radical platform. If Republicans win this November they are going to pass a national abortion ban, extend the failed Trump tax cuts for the rich and raise drug prices.
Vote for Patty Pansing Brooks in Nebraska CD01!
Vote for Tony Vargas in Nebraska CD02!
Vote for David Else in Nebraska CD03!
Vote Blue in 2022! The stakes are too high for you to stay home!