Senate

GOP Can’t Stop Pushing Social Security, Medicare Cuts

It isn’t just NRSC Chair Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney: This morning, a new report from the Daily Beast highlights that GOP U.S. Senate candidates across battleground states have for months been arguing for middle-class tax hikes and calling for cuts to retirement security programs like Social Security and Medicare.

As the Daily Beast notes, “At least four GOP candidates in the most important battleground states this fall have either explicitly expressed support for Scott’s plan or have campaigned on the political views that form the foundation of his platform.”

That includes at least several candidates who have openly embraced cuts to earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare like Pennsylvania’s David McCormick and Arizona’s Jim Lamon and Blake Masters. Meanwhile, in Ohio, Mike Gibbons has argued for zero-ing out the corporate tax rate while hiking taxes on working families.

The Daily Beast: GOP Candidates Can’t Stop Touching the Third Rail of Politics

Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s plan may not be as unpopular within the Republican Party as it first seemed.

By Sam Brodey, 4/5/22

Key Points:

  • “When the Senate GOP’s campaign chief Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) released an election-year platform that proposed raising taxes on millions and putting Social Security and Medicare up for negotiation every five years, many Republicans would have been happy to toss it into a Capitol fireplace, light the match, and never speak of it again.”
  • “But it’s not all bad for Scott, the ambitious former Florida governor and potential 2024 presidential hopeful. His ideas have quietly gotten some love from an important audience: prominent Republicans who are running for Senate.”
  • “At least four GOP candidates in the most important battleground states this fall have either explicitly expressed support for Scott’s plan or have campaigned on the political views that form the foundation of his platform.”
  • [Arizona Senate candidate Jim] Lamon has said that cutting entitlements should be on the table. In a Jan. 29 interview on Tucson talk radio station, Lamon said ‘there are many things we can do’ to reduce the debt, focusing on ‘entitlements.’ ‘“Oh, Jim, are you going to take those?” Lamon said, recreating a question to himself. ‘You’re damn right, because that’s where the money is.’”
  • “On Social Security and Medicare, two other leading Senate Republican candidates didn’t make their points as bluntly as Lamon. But they nevertheless advocated for significant changes to the programs that form the foundation of the American social safety net.”
  • David McCormick, the former CEO of the powerful hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, is a leading Republican candidate in the critical battleground of Pennsylvania. At a meet-and-greet on March 25, he acknowledged that entitlements were a ‘third rail’ but proceeded to touch it anyway. While McCormick noted that ‘we made promises’ to ‘anybody in this room that’s got gray hair,’ he argued entitlements ‘aren’t sustainable in their current form for the future of our country.’”
  • “Meanwhile, Blake Masters—the GOP candidate in Arizona backed by Tucker Carlson and Peter Thiel—was asked at an event in January if he supported cutting entitlement spending. ‘Well, we have to do it,’ Masters said, acknowledging the issue is a ‘Gordian knot.’ Striking a similar note to McCormick, Masters signaled that benefits should be untouched for retirees or those above the Medicare eligibility age of 65—less so everyone else.”

Read more from The Daily Beast here.

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