Is Donald Trump Cutting Social Security and Disability?

Coins currency

Rumors have reached fever pitch about Donald Trump's intentions with Social Security and Disability benefits. Several reputable publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Salon, and the LA Times, have reported that after successfully passing large tax cuts that largely benefit corporations and the wealthy, the White House and GOP led Congress are planning cuts to welfare, Medicare, Social Security and Disability. This is to help pay for the tax cuts and avoid blowing up the debt and deficit. That’s because the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, estimates that the tax bill will add $1.4 trillion to the deficit. Here is what we know.

Democrats are telling their constituents about what is about to happen. According to this Newsweek article, Senate Democrats are warning constituents that significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs are next on the agenda, and this is primarily driven by efforts by the GOP to pay for the massive tax cuts they have passed.

This was confirmed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who spoke to Politico and indicated that the GOP plans to cut Social Security and Medicare to help close the federal budget deficit, which is about to be made worse by the tax cuts. Senator Rubio was quoted as saying “We need to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future.”

Over at the House, despite public opposition, It’s been known for years that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ultimate goal is what he calls entitlement and welfare reform. This includes significant cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, anti-hunger programs. And now that the GOP has the entire government (The White House and Congress), there is nothing stopping them from pushing forward with their long held desire to gut these programs, which they partly blame for the growing debt and deficits.

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump did not commit to not cutting entitlement programs. According to records of his views on the issue kept by the AARP, the closest thing he has said regarding Social Security and Medicare is - “We're going to meet our obligations to our seniors.”

There is overwhelming public opposition to gutting these programs, with a recent Pew Survey showing that 71% of registered voters are opposed to any future reduction in Social Security benefits. The same survey found that when people were asked the same question based on who they supported during the last presidential election, the results were the same, showing that 73% of Trump supporters were against reducing Social Security benefits. Similarly, 66% of Cruz supporters and 62% of Kasich supporters felt that way as did 72% of Sanders supporters and 71% of Clinton supporters.)

With these poll numbers, it’s hard to believe the GOP still wants to go ahead and make cuts to these program. We will follow this story and keep you posted.

March 17, 2018