(Tea Party PAC) – One tactic being employed by the Democratic Party to try drumming up a bunch of fear and sway older voters away from casting a ballot for President Donald Trump has to do with accusations that he’s going to cut Social Security.
Of course, Social Security is a program that is eventually going to destroy itself because we simply cannot keep funding it the way we are now, but that’s a story for another time. Anyway, this is just an attempt to cast Trump as a stingy rich guy who doesn’t care about the poor and elderly.
The left seems to have forgotten that Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden once worked to try and create what is now known as a “grand bargain” with Republicans in Congress to try reducing the deficit during Obama’s tenure in the White House, a deal that would put all kinds of entitlement programs on the table for possible cuts, including Social Security.
According to Breitbart, not long after Obama and Biden took office, they were struck with a massive problem. The economy was still suffering through a major recession and wasn’t making much headway to rebound. Job losses, bankruptcies, and home foreclosures were everywhere. While all of that was happening, the country’s deficit hit an all-time high, landing at 8.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product, all due to the fact that the Bush-era tax cuts, coupled with the recession, required some serious stimulus cash spending.
“While on the surface the issues seemed to be separate, in reality, they were intertwined. A mounting deficit, without restrictions in the country’s money supply, could cause widespread inflation, much like it did in the late-1960s and early-1970s. Even if inflation were avoided, a continuing deficit could still hamper long-term economic growth and prevent foreign investment,” writes Haris Alic of Breitbart News.
“Although the considerations given to the deficit were mostly practical by Obama’s inner circle, at least some of the calculations must have also been political. As early as April 2009, only four months into Obama’s Oval Office tenure, the seeds of the Tea Party movement were already beginning to sow. For Obama to achieve many of the promises made on the 2008 campaign trail, it was vital for Democrats to keep control of Congress in the upcoming midterms. That outcome, however, could be endangered if Republicans aligned with the Tea Party succeeded in painting the president’s fiscal policies as ‘reckless,'” Alic continues.
“Given such concerns, Obama began signaling his desire to tackle the deficit in early 2010. In February of the year, Obama created via executive order a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The commission, which would be bipartisan, would consist of 18 members, with 12 appointed by Congress and six by the president. Its goal would be devising a long-term proposal for lowering the deficit and achieving a balanced budget by at least 2015,” the report states.
Obama chose former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who once served as a chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, to chair the commission, which became known as Simpson-Bowles. The commission was tasked with coming up with recommendations set to be released by Decemeber 2010 in hopes the incoming Congress would take those and act on them during the following year.
Biden himself was not a member of the commission, but he was still interested in the work that was being done because it overlapped with his own role in aiding the Obama administration in their efforts to help the economy recover from the disastrous state it was currently in. The former vice president was a big fan of the idea of freezing all federal spending, including that tied to Social Security, as a means of helping to reduce the national deficit. He worked with Simpson and Bowles to help create a proposal and also worked with Bruce Reed, the commission’s executive director. Reed was a former official from the Clinton administration in the early 90s and worked with Biden on writing up the 1994 crime bill.
“The eventual proposal that Simpson-Bowles authored sought to reduce the deficit by more than four trillion dollars. It would have stabilized the growth of the federal debt by 2014, while reducing it by more than 60 percent by 2023. Although the goals looked good, the cost would have fallen heavily on individuals who rely on federal spending and entitlement programs, like Social Security,” the Breitbart report says.
“Simpson-Bowles proposed to cut Social Security benefits for those in the top half of the income tax bracket, while raising the retirement age to 69. The plan also would have reduced the cost of living adjustments that are made to benefits as inflation rises,” it explains.
Neither Republicans or Democrats were big fans of the proposal when it was released in December of 2010. The GOP, who had just taken over control of the House, believed that Americans wanted larger cuts to help reach a balanced budget. On the flip side were Democrats who thought cutting Social Security was a bad move.
The proposal never got off the ground, but it seems Biden was still a believer in a lot of the ideas it contained because he then chose Reed as his chief of staff, which seemed to indicate that reducing the deficit would be a top priority for the vice president.
Another measure that Biden was supported was an amended formula for Social Security that would have taken entitlement programs and tied them to the United States Chained Consumer Price Index instead of the current United States Price Index.
Chained CPI is based on the idea that when the cost of living causes changes in the prices of goods, consumers will naturally adjust their own purchasing patterns to make up for the increase. In other words, while the cost of living goes up on paper, it’s actual impact on consumers is hardly noticeable.
This too fell apart on Biden.
The reason this is so relevant right now is because Biden pretends to be someone who will protect Social Security if he’s elected president in just a few short weeks. But, you know, his history here tells a very different story.
Folks, the bottom line is, Biden is not for you, the little people, no matter how many yarns he might spin to convince you otherwise. His record is clear. He wants to cut Social Security programs as a means of balancing the budget. Be informed.
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