Take New Hampshire’s nominee for the Senate, Don Bolduc. He told an August town meeting crowd that privatizing Medicare “is hugely important,” and said that he often talks about how important it is to “reform” Medicare and Medicaid, “Getting government out of it, getting government money with strings attached out of it.”
Bolduc’s spokesperson, Jimmy Thompson, insisted to Politico that since Bolduc made that statement six weeks ago, he’s changed his mind and now opposes privatizing Medicare, as well as Social Security and Medicaid. That’s quite the reversal for the guy who insisted he always tells people how important “getting government out of it” is.
Then there’s Arizona candidate Blake Masters, the guy who keeps wrecking McConnell’s train in that state. Back in June, he said in a candidate forum “We need fresh and innovative thinking. […] Maybe we should privatize Social Security. Private retirement accounts, get the government out of it.” As if Republicans haven’t been talking about doing that for decades—“fresh” thinking. A few months later, he called Social Security and Medicare “the Gordian knot” that has to be cut for younger generations.
At least he didn’t make his spokesperson walk those statements back. Last month he revised that. Okay, he more than revised it. He reversed it. “I do not want to privatize Social Security,” he told azcentral. “I think, in context, I was talking about something very different.” It’s hard to see how “we should privatize Social Security” can be understood in any other context, but sure.
He really doubled down on this effort to convince us he’s really reformed and would never, ever think again about privatizing these programs or harming them. “We can’t change the system. We can’t pull the rug out from seniors. I will never, ever support cutting Social Security,” he insisted. Of course, this was also the guy who was “100% pro-life” until he wasn’t. He might just be lying here.
And in Ohio, J.D. Vance once cut his political teeth on arguing that “Medicare and Social Security […] are the biggest roadblocks to any kind of real fiscal sanity.” Now, he told HuffPost via email, “I don’t support cuts to social security [sic] or Medicare and think privatizing social security is a bad idea.” Sure.
If it’s any consolation to McConnell, and it’s probably not because good lord what are these people thinking, House GOP leadership has joined the bandwagon with their “Commitment to America” plan that was accidentally prematurely leaked Wednesday.
The platform promises to “save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare,” though it gives no details on what exactly that means. But they already worked it out, as HuffPost explains. They had a June meeting of the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee where the discussed cutting both coverage and benefits to seniors under the programs. Also the Republican Study Committee has put out its proposed 2023 budget that massively cuts Social Security.
Just to make sure seniors understand that Republicans really don’t want to help them, the new plan from leadership attacks the Medicare drug cost-cutting provision in the new Inflation Reduction Act as a “drug takeover scheme” that “could lead to 135 fewer lifesaving treatments and cures.” That’s a very specific number of future drugs that won’t be available. Which suggests they are just making shit up to try to scare people into thinking that saving money on their prescriptions is actually a bad thing.
There’s actually one party in America that has proven itself ready and willing to end Social Security and Medicare as we know them: the Republicans. Under former President George W. Bush they tried, really hard, to privatize Social Security. And failed miserably. But they just can’t give it up. They won’t give it up.
Which means we just have to keep electing more and better Democrats to keep them at bay.
Grassroots donations like yours were absolutely crucial in turning the Senate blue last cycle. We can keep the momentum going in the midterms with your support.
Comments are closed on this story.