Ron Klain: GOP Has ‘Horrible, Horribler, And Horriblelist’ Ideas To Cut Social Security (8:18)
Radical Right Republicans have been pretty open about what they plan to do if they are returned to power in congress this year.
Since the Clinton presidency radical Republicans have used a relic of the long distant past known as the debt ceiling as a hostage situation to try to bring about radical changes in government policy. There is another debt ceiling vote coming up just past the election and Republicans already have plans to use this vote to hold the country hostage once again.
The way I understand it the debt ceiling was supposed to be reached around the end of September, but politics being what it is no one wanted THAT to become an issue in the mid-terms. Therefore there was a vote to raise the cap enough to get it past the mid-terms to approximately December 16th. Merry Christmas, America.
At that time, Democrats will still be in charge, barely, of both houses of congress. Can the Dems pass a debt ceiling bill even with Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema? Still probably dicey. They may get an extension to just past the beginning of the next congress in January.
That is where the radical Republicans plan to use the debt ceiling as the tool to force a hostage crisis on Democratic programs. And the top prospects as hostages are Social Security and Medicare. The radical right wing Republicans hope to “bargain” to get cuts in both programs by once more threatening to shut down the government and create an economic crisis by defaulting on debt.
They believe when they are in the majority in congress they can force President Biden’s hand on SS and Medicare with the threat of the very unpopular move of shutting down the government. They believe that President Biden would rather negotiate than allow the government to shut down and also create an economic catastrophe by defaulting on US debt payments.
For decades, the conventional wisdom in American politics has treated cuts to Social Security and Medicare as a political third rail due to their vital role in ensuring more than 60 million Americans’ economic security. This is to say nothing regarding the substantial sway beneficiaries of these programs have in U.S. elections. However, the situation has changed. Today’s Republican Party is no longer making plans behind closed doors to gut these safety net programs—instead, they are running on this platform in the most competitive races across the country. It is yet another sign of how extreme the party has become.
In fact, House Republican leadership publicly boasts that they are planning extreme tactics to force Social Security and Medicare cuts. They are threatening to force the United States into a potentially catastrophic default on payments it owes—including interest payments on the debt and the wide array of regular payments, such as veterans’ or Social Security benefits, that Americans rely on—if they don’t get their way. A U.S. default would have catastrophic consequences not only for individual families but also for the economy as a whole. In assessing the consequences of a U.S. debt default, Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics forecasts that the economic downturn could be similar to that experienced during the financial crisis, with real GDP plummeting, millions of jobs being lost, and the unemployment rate skyrocketing. Put simply: The extreme positions of MAGA Republicans and the extreme tactics that they are willing to use pose grave risks to all Americans.
Over the past 10 months, the GOP has grown increasingly bold in telegraphing their plans to cut Social Security and Medicare. Like their assault on abortion rights, it is often the case that many avoid acknowledging what is at stake until it’s too late. However, a bounty of evidence paints a clear picture of the threats to the U.S. economy from a MAGA Republican majority:
Rick Scott’s (R-FL) “Rescue America” plan: The chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee—Sen. Rick Scott—released a plan that would sunset Social Security and Medicare after five years.
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’s debt limit threat: In an interview with Punchbowl News, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “signaled that Republicans would again hold the debt limit hostage for policy changes.” Despite the fact that Republicans added trillions to the debt with their tax cuts, McCarthy said, “You can’t just continue down the path to keep spending and adding to the debt. And if people want to make a debt ceiling [for a longer period of time], just like anything else, there comes a point in time where, okay, we’ll provide you more money, but you got to change your current behavior.” When pressed on whether Republicans would seek cuts to entitlement programs in a debt ceiling fight, McCarthy refused to take cuts off the table, saying “he wouldn’t ‘predetermine’ anything.”
If you are at or near retirement age or have friends or loved ones who are in the retirement age, think very carefully before you vote. Grassley, Feenstra, Hinson, Nunn and Miller-Meeks will follow their party line which means to threaten a catastrophic default, shut the government down and bringing monumental changes to Social Security and Medicare.
Voters need to understand what they are getting when they vote for the radical Republicans this year. What they plan to do is not a figment of somebody’s imagination. Leaders within their party are saying it out loud. The media is not covering this, but it is stark reality nonetheless.
And just in case you don’t know who won’t do this – The Democrats will not be shutting down the government, defaulting on payments or ending Social Security and Medicare. Matter of fact, Democrats have plans to strengthen those plans. Oh – and SS and Medicare are programs that pay for themselves.