November 2, 2022

The Same Old BIG Lie About Social Security

Obama, Clinton, and Biden all repeat the worn-out false claims about Republicans wanting to take away seniors’ programs.

America has many wonderful October traditions — playoff baseball, Octoberfest beer, pumpkin pie, and Democrats scaring everyone about Social Security and Medicare ahead of an election.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden are all running around screaming (sometimes literally) about the end of these programs under Republicans.

“Some of you here are on Social Security. Some of your parents are on Social Security. Some of your grandparents are on Social Security. You know why they have Social Security? Because they worked for it,” a finger-pointing Obama told a Wisconsin crowd Saturday. “And if [Senator] Ron Johnson does not understand that,” he started hysterically yelling, “if he understands giving tax breaks for private planes more than he understands making sure that seniors who’ve worked all their lives are able to retire with dignity and respect — he’s not the person who’s thinking about you, and knows you, and sees you, and he should not be your senator from Wisconsin!”

The only thing missing from Obama’s angry tirade was that infamous Howard Dean scream.

Clinton thinks that voters are just too dumb to see what’s at stake. “I’m not sure [voters] really understand the threats to their way of life,” she lamented in a discussion about political violence on MSNBC. “They may think that whoever’s chairing a committee is, you know, kind of abstract. But the Republicans in the House and others like the chair of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee are on record saying that they are going to put Social Security and Medicare up for a vote.”

She then issued what is according to Democrat standards in other cases a call for political violence: “Now I don’t understand why every American, not just people eligible for those two programs that they have paid into, that they have worked hard for, that they have earned, are not up in arms.” Everyone, she insisted, should be outraged that “Medicare and Social Security [are] on the chopping block.”

Biden went to Florida, where he told a small crowd: “You’ve been paying into Social Security your whole life. You earned it. Now these guys want to take it away. Who in the hell do they think they are?” When he made the same false claim in 2020, even The Washington Post fact-checked him with “Four Pinocchios.” Even last month, the Post fact-checked a similar Democrat claim with the same “Four Pinocchios” — just not Obama, Clinton, or Biden.

He’s spent most of 2022 telling similar lies anyway. Republicans are “determined to cut Social Security and Medicare,” he asserted, “and they’re willing to take down the economy over it.” Yeah, what gives? Joe Biden is the only one allowed to take down the economy around here!

These Democrat attacks are largely based on a plan introduced by Senator Rick Scott in February. Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) who Clinton referenced, offered a plan for taxes and reviewing legislation that, unfortunately, opened the door for believable Democrat attacks. One of his planks was this: “All federal legislation sunsets in 5 years. If a law is worth keeping, Congress can pass it again.” He and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both explained that Social Security and Medicare do not fall in this category, but Democrats gleefully skip over that on their way to an effective reprise of their portrayal of Paul Ryan pushing wheelchair-bound granny off a cliff.

Veteran journalist Brit Hume corrected the record: “We’ve been hearing this claim about cutting Social Security and Medicare for decades, but in recent election cycles there haven’t been any serious proposals from Republicans to touch those programs. Donald Trump ruled it out and nobody is proposing it now. It’s an old saw used by Democrats when they’re in trouble.”

The glaring irony is that Social Security and Medicare are in trouble if they’re not touched. These two major entitlements — albeit earned entitlements as opposed to unearned redistribution schemes like food stamps — are headed for insolvency in the short term without a serious plan to fix them. Despite the bill of goods sold by DC politicians about all the money you paid into these programs, that money is long gone. Current workers are paying current retirees, and the ratio of workers to retirees isn’t anywhere near as favorable as it was when Swamp dwellers started raiding that “lock box.”

“When FDR signed Social Security into law in 1935,” noted our Douglas Andrews two years ago, “the retirement age was 65 and the life expectancy was 63. Today’s numbers are 67 and 84, respectively. Furthermore, while we used to have 16 workers for each retiree in 1950, we now have fewer than three.”

So who’s endangering Social Security and Medicare — someone with a serious plan for reform to keep programs going for future generations, or someone who screams and yells and insists that everything will be just fine if only those rotten Republicans will keep their hands off the brakes of the cliff-bound speeding train?


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