You can count on the GOP field and Republicans in Congress to deny climate change, promote massive tax cuts for the wealthy few, and be too scared of the party base to meaningfully denounce Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric.
So, too, can you be sure that they’re determined to threaten American seniors and future retirees’ earned benefits by limiting eligibility for Social Security and Medicare, and shifting the programs toward private accounts. Gutting Social Security and Medicare was one of the original items on Charles and David Kochs’ political agenda — and it’s a cause that the GOP field and their congressional allies have eagerly taken up as their own.
Here’s where the GOP field and their congressional buddies stand on attacking earned benefits:
- If you’d like to see fundamental changes to earned benefits that restrict eligibility, then Ted Cruz is your candidate. Cruz would raise Social Security and Medicare’s eligibility ages. He’d move Medicare to a premium support system and threaten Social Security by shifting it to private accounts. As a bonus, Cruz would institute means-testing for both Security and Medicare!
- Marco Rubio believes Social Security “weakened us as a people,” so it shouldn’t come as a surprise he wants to institute means-testing on Social Security and raise the retirement age. Rubio’s also looking to partially voucherize Medicare by shifting the program to a premium-support system, which would push retirees to private plans.
- If you liked Mitt Romney’s 47% moment, you probably loved Jeb Bush’s “free stuff” aloofness. Bush wants to raise the retirement age — and punish seniors who retire earlier than he wants them to. In addition to supporting Medicare means-testing — which would limit eligibility for the program — Bush also wants to shift the program toward private plans, and he’s even hinted at a “phase out.”
- “Get rid of them,” that’s Ben Carson’s “entitlements” end game. For now, Carson wants to raise the retirement age. He’d also go ahead and abolish Medicare entirely.
- “You’re gonna have to get over [reduced benefits],” if I’m elected, John Kasich told a concerned voter this fall. Why? Because Kasich would reduce Social Security benefits and cut Medicare.
- Senator Ron Johnson’s voted to raise the Medicare eligibility age, as part of Rand Paul’s budget. He’s also voted to replace Medicare with a premium support plan, as part of the Ryan Budget. Johnson’s additionally floated raising the retirement age for Social Security — which he’s described as a “legal Ponzi scheme.”
- Like Sen. Johnson, Senator Rob Portman’s voted to raise the Medicare eligibility age — but for him, as part of Sen. Toomey’s Budget. Portman’s also voted to replace Medicare with a premium support plan, as part of the Ryan Budget. With respect to Social Security, Portman’s expressed an openness to raising the retirement age
- Senator Kelly Ayotte has voted to replace Medicare with a premium support plan, as part of the Ryan Budget. She’s also supported looking at raising the retirement age.
- Senator Pat Toomey hasn’t just floated raising the Medicare eligibility age — he’s actually voted to raise it. Toomey’s also voted three times to replace Medicare with a premium-support voucher system. He’s similarly suggested personal accounts for Social Security — and even voted against making it more difficult to privatize the program.
- Senator Mark Kirk has voted to raise the Medicare eligibility age. He’s also voted to shift the program to a premium support program.
- Representative Joe Heck described Social Security as a “pyramid scheme” and floated the need to partially privatize it. He also supported shifting Medicare to a premium support system — even though he admitted it would “reduce” benefits for some.
Published: Jan 12, 2016