The newly released Republican Party platform provides the latest (in a growing amount of) evidence showing that no one in the party is willing to play along with Donald Trump’s empty campaign promises that he “won’t touch” Social Security and Medicare. As the party’s nominee for President, Trump is the GOP’s leader; however, that didn’t stop Republicans from completely ignoring him in the party platform saying all options should be on the table. That actually translates to meaning cuts only because the GOP still opposes the most popular option — raising the payroll tax. You’ll also note the oh-so vague push for allowing Wall Street and the “power of the markets” to control your Social Security:
“Of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered to preserve Social Security. As Republicans, we oppose tax increases and believe in the power of markets to create wealth and to help secure the future of our Social Security system.”
More than a decade after President Bush’s failed privatization campaign, it appears Republicans and their newly appointed party leader, Donald Trump, are caught in a time-warp where they remain determined to send Americans’ guaranteed Social Security’s benefits to Wall Street — regardless of the financial recklessness which nearly destroyed our economy just years ago. The GOP still believes successful poverty-fighting programs like Social Security and Medicare are the true evil in our society and continue to equate these earned benefit programs to welfare. It’s also important to remember that this missive didn’t happen in a vacuum. It came just days after Donald Trump chose one of Congress’ biggest privatizers, Mike Pence, as his running mate.
“Mike Pence was one of Congress’ biggest proponents of privatization. He supports cutting Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age, reducing the COLA, means-testing and turning Medicare into “CouponCare.” As he told CNN, ‘I’m an all of the above guy. I think we need to look at everything that’s on the menu,’ and the record shows he has done just that by supporting every form of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cut proposed in the past decade.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare scored Mike Pence at 0% on issues important to seniors during the 2011-2012 Congress since he voted for multiple pieces of legislation that would cut benefits and programs that protect senior’s health and financial security.”…Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO
Before his Pence announcement, Trump also met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and admitted he supports cutting Social Security but he just doesn’t think he can be elected by saying it:
“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it,” Trump told Ryan. “But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’ ”
Of course, those comments also fit with the message his policy staff delivered to fiscal hawks at the annual Pete Peterson “how to cut middle-class benefits” soiree in May:
“After the administration has been in place, then we will start to take a look at all of the programs, including entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. We’ll start taking a hard look at those to start seeing what we can do in a bipartisan way.”
“…I think that whoever [is] the next president is going to have a horrible time in dealing with this, because those entitlements will race to the front of all the economic issues we have in this country.”…Sam Clovis, Trump campaign chief policy advisor.
Trump himself has been noticeably silent on Social Security and Medicare this summer – leaving his staff, running mate and GOP Party members to deliver his message loud and clear: cutting middle-class benefits, privatizing Social Security and turning Medicare into “Couponcare” remains the Republican Party’s goals if voters will give them the chance.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive timeline of Donald Trump’s evolving positions on Social Security and Medicare. You can see it and many other helpful resources for the 2016 Campaign on our NCPSSM SeniorVote2016 website.