Presidential candidate Nikki Haley made it very clear she plans to gut or privatize Social Security and Medicare for young people “because they already know they’re not going to get anything.”
During her predictably friendly interview on today's Fox News Sunday, Haley once again couldn’t say where she differs from Donald Trump.
Funny how she didn’t mention that, unlike Trump, she is openly declaring her intention to drastically alter Social Security and Medicare. Maybe that’s because while Trump now says there should be no cuts to either program, he has repeatedly proposed cuts, before he was in office, while he was in office and when he was looking for a second term in 2020.
When asked how she’d handle the debt ceiling, Haley gave plain-vanilla Republican answers: “We’ve got to stop the spending binge. We’ve got to put Washington, D.C. on a diet. … We’ve got to work on a way to actually pay down the debt. …We need to start building things in America,” etc., Haley replied. Host Shannon Bream did not press for specifics, nor did she note that President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as providing $238 billion in deficit reduction, partly because of Medicare savings on pharmaceuticals.
“Our children will never forgive us for it,” Haley said about the debt. Apparently, she thinks young people will be just fine with the government doing away with a guaranteed basic income and medical care when they retire. Which also suggests she thinks they'll be just fine with not being able to retire at all.
HALEY: There is an issue of entitlements and I think that we do have to address entitlements. However, I don’t think we take away from anyone that we’ve promised things to. I think we focus on the new generation coming into the sytem because they already know they’re not going to get anything from it and we need to get in front of that and that means you go and you look at the new ones coming in and you keep your promises to those that have already been in the system.
What did Haley mean, exactly, by “look[ing] at the new ones coming in?” She didn’t say and host Shannon Bream did not ask.
But we know that it’s not about making promises that they’ll be kept out of extreme poverty or get necessary medical care once they become seniors.
You can watch another Republican prove President Biden right, and the Fox News poutrage, wrong when he accused Republicans of wanting to cut or do away with Social Security and Medicare, from the February 19, 2023 Fox News Sunday.
Since 2004, Dems have repeatedly presented common sense adjustments to the funding of the programs, which include lifting the cap on applicable income for FICA deductions, expanding the applicable employee base and making a tiny increase in the employer side of FICA of perhaps 1% (it could have been 0.2% if the GOP hadn’t stonewalled the discussion 20 years ago). The Dems have also acknowledged a need to increase the retirement age by one year, phased in over a decade or so. The GOP refused to discuss anything other than a sharp increase in the retirement eligibility age, and said that their intransigence was based on their Grover Norquist pledges to never ever ever raise taxes. (Of course, they leave out the part where they skyrocketed Middle Class taxes with the 2017 Tax Transfer).
The GOP approach has been to slag Medicare and SS since those programs were established, and to constantly fear-monger that the programs are “bankrupt” or a “Ponzi scheme” and to try to scare 30-40 year olds into thinking the programs will disappear before they can collect on their FICA investments. Since 2004, the long game by angry Right Wingers has been to deliberately refuse to provide any funding adjustments and to then cry public crocodile tears of their “concern” that the programs may be unable to pay more than 80% of their scheduled payments as of the mid 2030s. The GOP regularly tries to convince everyone that the 20% shortfall they’re ensuring is somehow a “total bankruptcy” or “insolvency” rather than a shortfall they’ve caused. We should remember that these programs are not “entitlements” by any means – they are public insurance programs we all pay into together, and the payments are actually a repayment that is owed to the employees who pay in. Mislabeling them “entitlements” is intended to make people think that they are handouts, when the facts are the reverse.
The GOP and angry Right Wing “solutions” for this “crisis” consist of slashing the programs by making SS a $1200/month flat payment, means-tested to only go to the indigent elderly, and by making Medicare a tiny means-tested voucher. And these new conditions would apply to everyone born after 1967 per the GOP “Republican Study Committee” plan of three months ago. Which would mean the majority of Middle Class employees would be told that even after paying into FICA for over 30-35 years, their payments would now be 1/3 of what they’d been promised, if they are to receive anything at all whatsoever. There’s also the debunked and discredited move now being pushed again by former acting president Pence to divert FICA deductions into some kind of alternate investment plan – something that Right Wingers know would actually result in a massive funding shortfall that would almost certainly result in real insolvency for SS and Medicare.
One obstacle for the GOP over the decades in their work to toss out these programs is that the programs are extremely popular and successful, despite all the sabotage by the Right Wing. So the press to slash the programs for most Middle Class Employees is clearly aimed to quash that popularity and turn public opinion firmly against even having these programs in existence.
The long game by angry Right Wingers is to be able to get a complete scrapping of SS through Congress by 2035, literally on the 100th year anniversary of the Social Security Act passing. It’s an insidious plot, and one that angry Right Wingers are really hoping you won’t notice.
For anyone falling for Right Wing spin in this matter and thinking “they’ll never cut Social Security”, I would point you to those who said “they’ll never throw out Roe v Wade”. This is a long-held long-term objective for angry Right Wingers. They will not hesitate, not even for a second, to get rid of Medicare and SS as soon as they have the opportunity.
In their world, wishes have more weight than reality. I believed in that world when I was a child. Then I grew up. These fools will grow up when (hopefully, not if) they lose and lose badly. If they don’t lose badly, they and their supporters will continue to live in never-never land.
What is more puzzling is how far out in Neverneverland a number of the leading figures in the Republic elite seem to be when it comes to assessing their own prospects. I say ‘seem’ because there’s a good chance they are actually after personal profit, rather than actual success, but at what cost?
Haley, Pence, Pompeio, Bolton and the like have access to all the information they need to realise they have not a snowball’s chance, but they are prepared to go through (and put their families through) the hell and humiliation of a presidential run anyway. Can they really be THAT deluded?