Listen to Joe: (Some) Republicans Do Want To Take Your Social Security and Medicare
They always have: here's the history the GOP doesn't want you to know
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I’ll be honest: I love Joe Biden. And because I love Joe Biden, he makes me a little nervous every time he opens his mouth. Although the media seems to have become accustomed enough to Biden’s stumbles and misspoken words that pundits no longer defer conversations about what he has said for endless rumination on how he has said it, I still want the kid who stutters to do well.
This is why, at about the two-thirds point in the State of the Union address and after a pretty smooth ride through the speech, my anxiety spiked when Biden poked the GOP bear on Social Security and Medicare. I didn’t anticipate it because he went in through the side door: Republicans’ demands for cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
And what are Republicans always trying to cut? Virtually every program that makes life worth living—education, the arts, research—and social programs. In the past, this usually meant money intended to support and lift up the poor. But this year, four Republican Senators—Rick Scott (PA), Marco Rubio (FL), Lindsey Graham (SC, and Ron Johnson (WI)—have indicated their willingness to touch the proverbial “third rail” of electoral politics, Social Security. Rubio and Graham are pushing for “reforms,” Scott wants to hold all federal programs hostage every five years, and Johnson to renegotiate Social Security and Medicare annually.
This shows you how much the GOP is running on ideology because it makes no sense to do this. According to a study by Pew Research Center in 2020, the average American voter is closer to retirement age than not: 52% are over fifty. But 56% of Republican voters are over 50, and 22% are over 65. This last group is where the GOP has picked up its biggest margins in the previous three elections.
Which is why Joey decided to go for it. After explaining that Trump had run up the debt more than any other president, and Congress had obliged him by raising the debt ceiling anyway, he paused. “So my — many of — some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage,” Biden began:
I get it — unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are.
Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans — some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I’m not saying it’s a majority —
At which point, Republicans—who were probably also taken by surprise, and had spent most of the speech with their fannies glued to their seats, started roaring: “NO!”
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