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"Trump has tried to walk back his support for Social Security and Medicare cuts," said the head of Social Security Works. "This budget is one of many reasons why no one should believe him."
March 26, 2024 (Washington, D.C.) -- Defenders of Social Security and Medicare on Wednesday swiftly criticized the biggest caucus of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives for putting out a budget proposal for fiscal year 2025 that takes aim at the crucial programs.
The 180-page "Fiscal Sanity to Save America" plan from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) follows the release of proposals from Democratic President Joe Biden and U.S. House Budget Committee Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas)—who is leading the fight to create a fiscal commission for the programs that critics call a "death panel" designed to force through cuts.

The RSC document features full sections on "Saving Medicare" and "Preventing Biden's Cuts to Social Security," which both push back on the president's recent comments calling out Republican attacks on the programs that serve seniors.
The caucus plan promotes premium support for Medicare Advantage plans administered by private health insurance providers as well as changes to payments made to teaching hospitals. For Social Security, the proposal calls for tying retirement age to rising life expectancy and cutting benefits for younger workers over certain income levels, including phasing out auxiliary benefits.
The document also claims that the caucus budget "would promote trust fund solvency by increasing payroll tax revenues through pro-growth tax reform, pro-growth energy policy that lifts wages, work requirements that move Americans from welfare to work, and regulatory reforms that increase economic growth."
In a lengthy Wednesday statement blasting the RSC budget, Social Security Works president Nancy Altman pointed out that last week, former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee to face Biden in the November election, "toldCNBC that 'there's a lot you can do' to cut Social Security."
"Everyone who cares about the future of these vital earned benefits should vote accordingly in November."
"Now, congressional Republicans are confirming the party's support for cuts—to the tune of $1.5 trillion. They are also laying out some of those cuts," Altman said. "This budget would raise the retirement age, in line with prominent Republican influencer Ben Shapiro's recent comments that 'retirement itself is a stupid idea.' It would make annual cost-of-living increases stingier, so that benefits erode over time. It would slash middle-class benefits."
"Perhaps most insultingly, given the Republicans' claim to be the party of 'family values,' this budget would eliminate Social Security spousal benefits, as well as children's benefits, for middle-class families. That would punish women who take time out of the workforce to care for children and other loved ones," she continued. "This coming from a party that wants to take away women's reproductive rights!"
The caucus, chaired by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), included 285 bills and initiatives from 192 members in its budget plan—among them are various proposals threatening abortion care, birth control, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) nationwide.
"The RSC budget would also take away Medicare's new power to negotiate lower prices on prescription drugs, putting more money into the pockets of the GOP's Big Pharma donors," Altman warned. "And it accelerates the privatization of Medicare, handing it over to private insurance companies who have a long history of ripping off the government and delaying and denying care to those who need it."
"In recent days, Trump has tried to walk back his support for Social Security and Medicare cuts," she noted. "This budget is one of many reasons why no one should believe him. The Republican Party is the party of cutting Social Security and Medicare, while giving tax handouts to billionaires."
"The Democratic Party is the party of expanding Social Security and Medicare, paid for by requiring the ultrawealthy to contribute their fair share," Altman added. "Everyone who cares about the future of these vital earned benefits should vote accordingly in November."
Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler also targeted the Republican presidential candidate while slamming the RSC plan, saying that "Donald Trump's MAGA allies in Congress made it clear today: A vote for Trump is a vote to make the MAGA 2025 agenda of cutting Social Security, ripping away access to IVF, and banning abortion nationwide a hellish reality."
"While Trump and his allies push forward their extreme agenda, the American people are watching," Tyler added, suggesting that the RSC proposal will help motivate voters to give Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris four more years in the White House.
This story is used under a creative commons license.
Jessica Corbett is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams.

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re: "national defense"

About one-sixth of federal spending goes to national defense. . . .or the "national defense" of . . .Korea, Taiwan Germany etc . . .you know, nearly everyone--thank you for your service and forget about local financial needs. Homeless people? Threats, they say. .. .So let's kill some more people somewhere and feed dollars to the bloody people who finance our political fiascos which are called elections.l