It’s almost like he wants to lose re-election:
Saying programs like Social Security and Medicare suffer from improper oversight, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson on Tuesday called for turning every government program into discretionary spending programs, meaning Congress would have to allocate funding for the programs each year.
Such an effort could lead to yearly battles over the programs — fights that some Republicans say are necessary to cut down on government spending, while many Democrats consider the programs to be some of the nation’s most beneficial.
Spending on many defense and education programs has long been discretionary, but programs like Social Security and Medicare are mandatory spending programs, which don’t need congressional authorization every year. Social Security and many other mandatory spending programs are indefinitely in effect.
"What's mandatory are things like Social Security and Medicare,” Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said on the "Regular Joe" show Tuesday. “If you qualify for the entitlement, you just get it no matter what the cost. And our problem in this country is that more than 70% of our federal budget, of our federal spending, is all mandatory spending. It's on automatic pilot.
Johnson said that "as long as things are on automatic pilot we just continue to pile up debt, mortgage our kids' future, this massive debt burden, combined with this massive deficit spending that sparked this inflation that's wiping out people's wage gains, making it impossible for them to make ends meet. Again, this didn't just happen.
"The fact that you're struggling economically it's because of Democrat governance and Democrat policies in the federal government that is spending way more money than it should and doing things that never was even envisioned by our founding fathers to be doing."
His likely Democratic rival in the November election, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, slammed Johnson's comments.
“Self-serving, multimillionaire senator Ron Johnson wants to strip working people of the Social Security and Medicare they’ve earned. Wisconsinites pay into Social Security through a lifetime of hard work, and they’re counting on this program and Medicare – but Ron Johnson just doesn't care,” Barnes said in a statement.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre weighed in with a tweet: "While @POTUS and congressional Democrats fight for the Inflation Reduction Act, which would let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices, congressional Republicans like @SenRonJohnson want to put Medicare on the chopping block. That would devastate families."
Meanwhile over on Team Blue:
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes’s Senate campaign said it raised $1.1 million over the past week, which saw his top Democratic primary opponents drop out of the crowded intraparty race.
The campaign also told The Hill, which was the first outlet to report on the fundraising haul, it received 21,000 donations during that same week.
“I am so proud of the unprecedented support and unity Wisconsin has demonstrated in our fight to defeat Ron Johnson,” Barnes said in a statement.
“We are building a grassroots movement of working people from every community who understand that we have much more in common with each other than we ever will with an out-of-touch, self-dealing multimillionaire politician like Ron Johnson. From farmers to small business owners to unions across the state, we are united and ready to fight for a fair shot for every Wisconsinite,” he continued.
Primary Day in Wisconsin is August 9th. Click here to register to vote or check your registration.
Health and Democracy are on the ballot next year and we need to keep Wisconsin Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Mandela and his fellow Wisconsin Democrats campaigns:
Wisconsin Democratic Party
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Tony Evers for Governor
Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate
Rebecca Cooke for Congress
Brad Pfaff for Congress
Deb McGrath for Congress
Josh Kaul for Attorney General
Doug La Follete for Secretary of State
Alexia Sabor for Secretary of State
Angelito Tenorio for Treasurer
Gillian Battino for Treasurer