Trump suggests cuts to Medicare and Social Security programs that help millions - TAI News
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Former President Donald Trump suggested on March 11 that if he wins another term in the White House, he will back significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare, despite previously promising not to do so.

Asked in a CNBC interview about cutting spending on entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, Trump replied: “So first of all, there is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements, tremendous bad management of entitlements. There’s tremendous amounts of things, numbers of things you can do.”

“Not on my watch,” responded President Joe Biden in a tweet minutes later. 

According to the Social Security Administration, about 2.2 million Michiganders received Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program benefits in December 2022, and another 170,000 people in the state received funds through its Supplemental Security Income program. 

Almost 2.2 million received health care benefits through Medicare in November 2023, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and more than 2.6 million received them through Medicaid.

Trump ran in 2016 on a promise to never cut those three safety net programs.

“Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts,” he said in his June 2015 campaign kickoff speech. “Have to do it. Get rid of the fraud. Get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it. People have been paying it for years. And now many of these candidates want to cut it.”

“Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid,” Trump told voters that year in New Hampshire, according to an AP report. “And we can’t do that.”

According to CNN, he is making the same pledge again this year, and his campaign site currently includes a video of him saying, “Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security.”

After his CNBC interview, Trump’s campaign tried to walk back his comment. Spokesperson Karoline Leavitt told CNN that Trump had been “clearly talking about cutting waste, not entitlements,” and said: “President Trump delivered on his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare in his first term, and President Trump will continue to strongly protect Social Security and Medicare in his second term. The only candidate who poses a threat to Social Security and Medicare is Joe Biden.”

The Biden campaign released a video montage of Trump repeatedly proposing entitlement cuts in previous interviews. 

In one, from a January 2020 CNBC interview, Trump predicted that his booming economy would allow him to cut the programs: “We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year — 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, because it’s such a big percentage.”

As president, Trump repeatedly tried to slash the safety net. 

The Washington Post reported in February 2023 that every budget proposed by Trump’s administration contained Medicare and Social Security cuts.  

His 2020 budget proposal called for cuts to all three safety net programs, including a $575 billion Medicare reduction, according to a March 2019 Axios story.

Trump’s latest comments come just days after the release of a January YouGov poll that found 55% of registered American voters are afraid that Trump will cut Medicare and Social Security funding if he wins back the presidency.

A 2022 AARP Michigan poll found that preserving Medicare and Social Security was important to a majority of voters in the state and that more than 82% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a U.S. Senate candidate who agreed with the positions “Support protecting Social Security from cuts to workers’ earned benefits” and “Support protecting Medicare from cuts and ensure America’s seniors get the healthcare they need.”

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