On Earned Benefits Cuts, The GOP Field’s Proposals Match Its “Free Stuff” Rhetoric

As far as the GOP candidates on stage tonight go, voters who are concerned about cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid should look elsewhere. John Kasich summed the GOP stance up best with, “You’re gonna have to get over it.”  That’s the prevailing attitude among Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and the rest of the GOP field.

Candidates on stage are pushing plans that would enact stringent means testing, shift Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to individual accounts, and raise the retirement age — including reducing benefits for seniors who retire earlier.

We’ve heard Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio‘s out-of-touch “free stuff” rhetoric — but the field’s policy proposals are even worse, posing serious threats to Medicaid beneficiaries as well as American seniors and future retirees.

Here’s more on the GOP field’s plans to attack earned benefits:

Rubio On Entitlements
“Free Stuff” Comments

[Video] Rubio: Democratic Debate Was “About Who Was Going To Give Away The Most “Free Stuff”: Free College […]

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Jeb Joins Rubio And Rest Of GOP Field In Threatening Seniors’ Earned Benefits

Much like Jeb Bush’s candidacy, his plan to threaten American seniors’ earned benefits is far from exceptional — it’s par for the course among equally destructive proposals advocated by Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and the rest of the GOP field.

Back in 2005, Jeb Bush shilled his brother’s plan to privatize portions of Social Security, and expressed disappointment he couldn’t get the job done. Over the last few months, Jeb’s been incredibly evasive about his plans for Social Security. When he released his tax plan that disproportionately increases after-tax income for the top 1%, we got some insight on his agenda — his economists hinted he’d have to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits to pay for his $3.4 trillion plan — but we still didn’t have specifics.

No we know he’s all-in with a Paul Ryan-style proposal to attack the earned benefits that American seniors rely on.

Like Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, and much […]

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Marco Rubio’s Policies Put Benefits For Seniors And Future Retirees At Risk

American Bridge President Jessica Mackler released the following statement in response to Marco Rubio’s extreme and out-of-touch policy that would hurt seniors:


“Seniors cannot trust Marco Rubio when his official policy would cut Social Security benefits and voucherize Medicare. He’s taking a page out of Jeb Bush’s playbook and telling seniors to work longer rather than retire. Republicans — following future Speaker Paul Ryan — have tried and failed to cut seniors’ benefits. Rubio might believe that Social Security and Medicare have ‘weakened us as a people’ but Americans will reject his defeatist attitude and his extreme and out-of-touch plan like they have many times before.”


Bad For Seniors


✓ Rubio said Social Security and Medicare were bankrupting the country and weakening us as a people
✓ Rubio supported the Ryan budget and varying levels of privatization of Medicare
✓ Rubio supported raising the eligibility age for both Social Security and Medicare


Video: Rubio Said That Social Security And Medicare […]

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“Being Like Romney Is A Good Thing, Right?” — Jeb Bush, Probably

Yesterday morning, Marco Rubio joined his mentor Jeb Bush in criticizing the “free stuff” strategy. Apparently Jeb saw that as an opening to double-down on his “free stuff” rhetoric last night. After being asked by Fox News’s Sean Hanity about the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, and Medicare, Jeb told Hanity that “offering free things to people [is] not working.”

Unfortunately for Jeb, not only are the ACA, Social Security, and Medicare important programs that provide necessary safety nets for millions of Americans, they’re also a whole lot more popular than the former front-runner.


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Kasich: “You’re Gonna Have To Get Over” Lower Social Security Benefits

If you’re concerned about your Social Security benefits, John Kasich has a message for you: “Get over it.”


Talking to a voter on New Hampshire’s NH1 News Network, Kasich said that if he’s elected, people would have to just accept cuts to their earned benefits. To make matter worse, when an audience member expressed legitimate concerns over his callous position, Kasich, being Kasich, just laughed:


“Now, what if I told your initial [Social Security] benefit was going to be lower, to try to save the program? Would that drive you crazy? Oh, it would upset you?” 


“OK, well, you’d get over it. And you’re gonna have to get over it.”


Watch the video here:


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Say What? After Calling Social Security A Pyramid Scheme, Mealy Mouthed Heck Has No Answer

Congressman Joe Heck’s Senate campaign got off to a rough start with Jon Ralston last night when he put on a Dodgeball-grade display of dodges, ducks, dips, dives, and dodges when asked about Social Security.

Not only does Heck refuse to say he regretted calling Social Security a pyramid scheme, but he lists off a litany of bad ideas like raising the retirement age… all the while insisting that he doesn’t necessarily support any of them. Riiiiight. Joe Heck wants you to think he’s different, but he’s just like the rest of the DC GOP: Ready to break the promise to our seniors.

Take a look as Joe Heck rattles off the same damaging Republican rhetoric on Social Security — and listen to what he’s not not saying:

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Mike Huckabee has two words for Jeb Bush: Political Suicide

Just two days after Jeb Bush said he would cut Social Security benefits and raise the retirement age to 70, Mike Huckabee said he believes that would not only be political suicide, but economic suicide as well. You know it’s a problem when Mike Huckabee is telling you to tone down your policy ideas. Already in hot water for failing to prove his political viability, Jeb Bush’s impending campaign may be dead on arrival if he loses his economic credentials as well.

Watch the clip of Huckabee at Rick Scott’s Economic Summit:

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Despite what Walker’s saying now, he’s on record supporting cuts to Social Security

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Scott Walker refuses to discuss Social Security because he hasn’t decided to run for president (nice one, Gov). Even if Walker refuses to tell people how he would cut benefits, he’s on record supporting serious cuts to the program.

As far back as 2000, he supported then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s plan to partially privatize Social Security.

One has to believe that the Kochs took Walker’s stance on cutting Social Security into account when they declared him one of the five contenders in their invisible primary.

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It’s not just Christie: GOP Field Would Gut Social Security

Republican strategists are up in arms, criticizing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for highlighting one of the largest single vulnerabilities for the GOP: their willingness to gut Social Security. Alex Roarty and Scott Bland explain:

When Chris Christie went to New Hampshire to propose the most sweeping set of changes to Social Security in recent memory last week, he set off a rush among top Republican contenders, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, to offer their own aggressive plans for the program.

But according to many Republican strategists, Christie’s dive into Social Security did more than that—it pushed the party in a perilous direction ahead of the 2016 election. Because while “entitlement reform” has become part of the Republican platform, Social Security, the strategists say, is a topic still too perilous to touch.

Unfortunately for them, it’s not just Chris Christie that would break the promise to our seniors. Jeb […]

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MEMO: What To Expect In Nashua

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Brad Woodhouse, President, American Bridge 21st Century
RE: What to Expect in Nashua
DATE: April 17, 2015

Republican presidential candidates are descending like a swarm of locusts on Nashua, New Hampshire, this weekend for the NHGOP’s First in the Nation Leadership Summit. With more than 20 candidate events scheduled in addition to Friday and Saturday’s speaking slots, American Bridge will be working overtime to document every word from targeted candidates and continue our work holding Republicans accountable for their extreme positions and words. Here’s what we’re expecting to hear.

Read more after the jump.