After Massive Tax Cuts For The Rich, GOP Senate Blames Rising Deficits On Medicare/Social Security

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Remember when the Trump tax cuts were not only going to pay for themselves but lower the deficit?

Yeah, not so much.

From Bloomberg News:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed rising federal deficits and debt on a bipartisan unwillingness to contain spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and said he sees little chance of a major deficit reduction deal while Republicans control Congress and the White House.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg News when asked about the rising deficits and debt. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”

McConnell’s remarks came a day after the Treasury Department said the U.S. budget deficit grew to $779 billion in Donald Trump’s first full fiscal year as president, the result of the GOP’s tax cuts, bipartisan spending increases and rising interest payments on the national debt. That’s a 77 percent increase from the $439 billion deficit in fiscal 2015, when McConnell became majority leader.

The facts about how President Obama and Mitt Romney address Medicare differently

Yesterday, Mitt Romney took to a white board to try and “explain” the differences between how HE would address Medicare versus what the Affordable Healthcare Act does.

The main thing I want to point up is: Romney has said repeatedly that he will repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act COMPLETELY. What that means is senior citizens who are right now saving money since the prescription drug “donut hole” was closed by the AHA would see the return of that “donut hole.”

Also, Romney continues to say the President “cut billions from seniors” in Medicare. The truth is the AHA saves money from inefficiencies in monies to providers NOT seniors.

It just goes on and on. Watch the video for the facts.

Public supports overhaul, not cuts, to entitlement programs

From Politico: According to a new poll by Pew Research Center, most Americans don’t want to cut benefits from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, but they do believe the programs all need to be overhauled.

60 percent of those surveyed for a Pew Research Center poll said it’s most important that the programs’ benefits be untouched.

In contrast, 32 percent said that taking steps to reduce the budget deficit is more important than maintaining the current level of benefits.

However, small majorities said they think that all three programs need to be changed:

  • 52 percent of Americans said that Social Security needs to be completely rebuilt or undergo major changes
  • 54 percent said the same about Medicare
  • 54 percent said it about Medicaid

And most Americans give the programs mediocre marks for their performance in serving recipients:

  • 56% of those surveyed said that Social Security is doing a fair or poor job, 39% said it is good or excellent
  • 53% of Americans said Medicare is doing a fair or poor job, 41% said it is doing a good or excellent job

The poll was conducted June 15-19 and surveyed 1,502 people. The error margin is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Rep. Weiner on GOP Medicare-Hypocrisy

Last year: “Democrats are killing Medicare!” – Republicans

This year: “We want to kill Medicare!” – Republicans

The Republicans keep saying “today’s seniors won’t see any change in their coverage.” But if you happen to be 54 or 53 or younger – look out. What do you think a health insurance policy will cost a senior at the age of 65 in about 10, 15 years?

From the Center for Economic Policy Reserach: Representative Ryan would replace the current Medicare program with a voucher for people who turn age 65 in 2022 and later. This voucher would be worth $8,000 in for someone turning age 65 in that year. It would rise in step with with the consumer price index and also as people age.

According to the CBO analysis the benefit would cover 32 percent of the cost of a health insurance package equivalent to the current Medicare benefit. This means that the beneficiary would pay 68 percent of the cost of this package.

Using the CBO assumption of 2.5 percent annual inflation, the voucher would have grown to $9,750 by 2030. This means that a Medicare type plan for someone age 65 would be $30,460 under Representative Ryan’s plan, leaving seniors with a bill of $20,700.

According to the Social Security trustees, the benefit for a medium wage earner who first starts collecting benefits at age 65 in 2030 would be $32,200.

Do the math kids. Not looking so good, huh?

Republicans set to re-invent Medicare

Republicans will present a budget plan for 2012 that will attempt to reduce spending by $4 trillion dollars over the next decade. The plan would dramatically reshape Medicare and the entire budget landscape.

From The Wall Street Journal: The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays health-care costs. Mr. Ryan and other conservatives say this is necessary because of the program’s soaring costs. Medicare cost $396.5 billion in 2010 and is projected to rise to $502.8 billion in 2016. At that pace, spending on the program would have doubled between 2002 and 2016.

Mr. Ryan’s proposal would convert Medicare into a “premium support” system for those now under the age of 55. Participants from that group would choose from an array of private insurance plans when they reach 65 and become eligible, and the government would pay about the first $15,000 in premiums. Those who are poorer or less healthy would receive bigger payments than others.

Democrats say the GOP plan will leave millions exposed to multiple risks. The Medicare premium subsidies would increase more slowly than health costs, they say, so seniors would end up with less coverage over time.

Republicans say the plan would introduce more competition and thus, reduce costs.

Good luck with that one, kids. I’ve never known a business to say ‘hey, let’s lower costs – we’re making too much money.’

I personally think changes do need to be made, but not sure I trust the Republicans – who are always looking out for their own wallet – to protect the average citizens of the country. The wealthy, yes. But that word “protect” can be a tricky thing, don’t you know, when we’re talking about average Americans.