Ron supports privatization of Social Security and Medicare, giving his rivals an opening

Making America Great: The Rise of Drug Prices, Health Care Premiums, Gas Prices, and Energy Costs for Working and Middle-Class Families

We have made huge progress over the past two years. My administration, working with Democrats in Congress, is building an economy that grows from the bottom up and middle out.

The unemployment rate is 3.5% – a 50-year low. We’ve created 10 million jobs, including almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs. My watch shows that “Made in America” isn’t just a slogan, it is a reality.

We have more work to do. Inflation – driven by the pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine – is a global challenge. A lot of people with jobs are struggling to pay for things like groceries and gas. That’s why I’m so determined to lower costs for families.

I can help reduce the burden by bringing down the costs of everyday things for working and middle-class people such as health care premiums, prescription drugs and energy bills. 13 million Americans have lower health care premiums because of the Inflation Reduction Act, and seniors have lower prescription drug prices because of it.

And partly because of the actions we’ve taken – including a historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – gas prices are decreasing. They’re down $1.20 since their peak this summer and just this week they fell another 10 cents. That’s adding up to real savings for families.

Republicans in Congress are doubling down on mega, MAGA trickle-down economics that benefit the wealthy and big corporations. They’ve laid their plan out very clearly. It would raise your costs and make inflation worse.

Some provisions that lower prescription costs take effect in January but many Republicans in Congress want to roll them back. That means the $2,000 cap on prescription drugs for seniors would be gone. The $35 a month cap would be removed for seniors. Millions of Americans would pay more for health care, because the average savings would go away. GOPers would increase those costs.


The Taxpayer Problem: Do We Stand Up to the Future? Why Do We Need a Government? Why We Shouldn’t Forget It

Democrats are making sure the biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in taxes. In the year 2020, 55 of the wealthiest corporations paid no federal income tax. No longer. I signed into law a 15% corporate minimum tax. And, I’m keeping my campaign commitment: no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a single penny more in federal taxes.

Just look at the fallout from President Biden’s State of the Union address, in which he accused some Republicans — “not a majority” — of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare.

The fact is, this is not your father’s party, and many Republicans are trying to pass a ban on abortion. I would veto it immediately if we elected more Democrats to the Senate, and then codify it in January if we keep the House.

America is putting the test of democracy. We are learning that democracy isn’t guaranteed and no generation has to learn about it. Defending it is something you have to do. It should be protected. It is up to you.

In 2020 the American people vote in record numbers and make it clear that democracy is both a value and a way of life.

We have faced some of the most challenging challenges in our history, but we did not back down. And, I have never been more confident about our future. The American people will make their decision in 14 days.

The debt ceiling needs to be raised by June or the county will default. Republicans have pushed for spending cuts to offset increases in spending. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the ability to corral some of the most vocal, right-wing members of his conference.

The Republicans have all the know-how of Foghorn Leghorn, the cartoon rooster, who knows they are going to chicken out when they get their chance. It would be economically destructive and politically suicidal to let the federal government default on its debt. So we will probably go through this terrifying charade until a handful of swing-district Republicans break ranks and vote with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling.

In addition to trying to find a way to slow the growth of spending, I think there would be no cuts to either program. They’re popular with Republican voters, too, after all. And there’s no way anything is going to happen except on a bipartisan basis. Any suggestions for fixes that don’t involve large tax increases?

How Congress is going to respond to a question from Rep. Greg Morrone: Tax Fairness in the House and Senate Budget Problems

Gail: Well, some people may regard this as a tax increase, but I want to propose some tax fairness. For some reason, Social Security payroll taxation stops at about $160,000. A person who makes $1 million a year doesn’t pay anything on more than $840,000.

Gail: I was lucky to work for the chief of police in New Haven, Ed Morrone, who was smart. My husband’s job was to keep people who hate one another apart, and he was told by him that was the most important job of a cop.

McCarthy said that he doesn’t think Biden would want to be irresponsible or childish and not sit and negotiate. Let’s sit down, let’s not play political games, because we have a timeline here. We both know we have certain positions, and let’s find where we can have savings for the American people.”

For McCarthy, the challenge will be in balancing the interests of House Republicans eager to use their leverage on the debt ceiling to enact priorities that would otherwise be ignored by the White House and the Senate – but also finding a deal with Democrats without being seen as caving into their demands. The ability of one member to call for a vote to oust the speaker is hanging over it.

It’s a recipe that – some fear – could take the nation to the brink of a potentially cataclysmic default, especially since some positions against raising the limit at all seem intractable.

When asked if they would support a debt ceiling increase if they included every one of them, Rep. Greg Pence said, “No.” “That’s what I hear back home.”

Even as the House Republicans try to strengthen negotiations with the White House, it’s going to take conference-wide agreement on spending cuts to do it. Republican appropriators are vowing to protect defense programs and GOP moderates are uneasy about slashing popular domestic spending programs, all of which can be easy fodder for Democratic attack ads.

“You are always going to have a handful that will vote ‘no’ on everything. Nancy Mace said, “So expect those people to exist.” “That’s why it’s important to negotiate. We need to act that way because we are a divided Congress.

McCarthy told CBS he was going to take Social Security and Medicare cuts off the table. He said he wants to make sure defense spending is protected but he wants it to be effective and efficient.

Indeed, Social Security takes up about 21% of the $5.8 trillion the federal government spent in the last fiscal year, while health care programs – namely Medicare, Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program and Affordable Care Act subsidies – account for about 25% of the budget, according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The rest of the budget includes discretionary domestic programs like defense and national security.

A member of the talks said that the conservative crew had met Friday and Monday to discuss ideas for cuts that could lead to a balanced budget within 10 years.

The leaders of the group have been in touch with McCarthy, who is in constant contact with them as discussions intensify.

A member of the House Freedom Caucus said they will have a blueprint for what they will be fighting for. Social Security, not Medicare, are not being looked at on discretionary. We’re going to put it out for the American people. And it will shock people. … I think people are going to like what they see.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: Taking the lead on borrowing at the wall and taking control of the runaway expenditure problem for the U.S.

“I want us to be the adults in the room. Massie told reporters that there is two things that could be a crisis. Take that away from the table. … It would give you the time and space, and it would take the pressure off.”

While McCarthy is trying to build conference-wide consensus on what they will propose in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing limit, some appropriators acknowledged they may wind up on the sidelines of the debate.

“I will be either the beneficiary, or victim, of however that comes out, because we will be getting a (topline spending number) for my subcommittee,” Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, told CNN. “And I’ll be directly affected.”

I think most people are in a camp of not Defaulting. Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, a member of the House Budget Committee believes that the credit of the country is important. “But just to say we’re going to raise the debt ceiling without any spending restraint is just not an acceptable outcome.”

One idea Massie has been promoting is to pass a continuing resolution that will provide funding for the government at 99% of what it is, and also raise the debt ceiling so they can make a backup plan in case they are unable to come to an agreement.

Others are looking at possible contingency plans as well. The House’s bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus is working on a proposal that would in part try to set a ratio for the allowable amount of US debt compared to the country’s gross domestic product – and develop a plan for budget cuts if that level is breached. The group is consulting outside budget experts to help draft the proposal.

If talks between McCarthy and the White House fall apart, a plan would be put into action, according to Brian Fitzpatrick.

The statement carried echoes of the push by White House officials and congressional Democrats to force Republicans to put a plan on the table – even as they insist there will be no negotiations on the matter.

McCarthy appeared on CBS. “Face the Nation,” where the California Republican said he wanted “to find a reasonable and responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling, but take control of this runaway spending.”

McCarthy’s pledge, which is backed by former President Donald Trump, provides a window into the complex political dynamics House Republicans confront as they press for negotiations while still working to coalesce around a proposal to put on the table.

White House officials have watched closely to see if House Republican preferences are both non-starters on the policy front and politically beneficial.

More broadly, there remain significant questions about whether House Republicans can find the necessary 218 votes for anything given the strident opposition held by some in the conference about raising the debt ceiling at all.

The Biden Way: Preventing Social Security Decays in the Era of the House Severely-Republican Reform

The White House views Medicare and Social Security in a political way despite McCarthy’s efforts to take changes off the table.

White House officials point to the framing of “strengthening” the programs as a euphemism for structural changes they oppose. Absent a clear House Republican proposal, that has become a central line of attack in a debate that is still in its early stages – with potentially dramatic consequences ahead.

He struck notes of his traditional unity message, pledging to work with the new Republican House leadership and touting his legislative accomplishments in the past year, but Biden also laid out an Average Joe America vision for 2024 full of poll-tested, middle-of-the-road issues, as well as a healthy dose of left-wing populism.

And he showed a clear contrast between himself and right-wing House Republicans, who couldn’t help themselves, hectoring Biden repeatedly despite newly minted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy explicitly instructing them beforehand not to do so.

The president didn’t call for a whole lot of new policy initiatives from the new Congress — beyond, for example, ending what he called “junk fees” in travel, entertainment and credit cards. It showed he’s gearing up for campaign mode and that he’s likely going to campaign on what he’s already done by drawing a big-picture distinction between his vision for America and Republicans’.

Lots of surveys show Democrats would prefer someone else to run in 2024 instead of Biden, mostly because of his age — though no one can definitively point to who the alternative should be.

Biden is 80 years old and would be the oldest president to run for reelection. He has suffered for lack of intensity with rank and file Democrats, but in this speech he showed that he can successfully prosecute the case, not just for reelection, but also for Democratic values.

Some of what is likely to make Democrats comfortable is the pluck he showed — the willingness and ability to spar with Republicans and depict them not as normal, but extreme.

The best example of this was on Medicare and Social Security. He accused some House Republicans of wanting to cut popular entitlements. He was careful in that section to note that “some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset every five years.”

The Republican senators said that Biden had lied to the public. Here is a fact-check of the exchanges.

McCarthy, who became the speaker because of far-right rejection and his small majority, was seen shushing his conference at least three times. Biden and Democrats wanted to show off the look that will likely be the biggest TV audience the president will speak to this year ahead of his expected reelection announcement.

Americans love to see a story with a dose of nationalism. There is clearly a hot ticket in politics today that is right- and left-wing populism. The little guy is against the people in power in Biden and Trump’s populism. They’re a modern day Howard Beales who won’t take it anymore.

Big pharma, oil and gas companies, billionaires and Biden went after them.

It was a heavy dose of populism with policies that are popular. He said that he will require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America.

Biden’s State of the Union Address to Wisconsin on Wednesday: “It’s up to all of us,” and “What is up to us to make America strong”

“I will make no apologies that we are investing to make America strong,” Biden said. “Investing in American innovation, in industries that will define the future, and that China’s government is intent on dominating.”

There was about 200 words left in the speech about what has become one of America’s top geopolitical threats.

On Ukraine, Biden noted the presence of Ukraine’s ambassador and touted what the U.S. has done for the country over the past year of its war with Russia.

There wasn’t a lot on either country beyond that. It’s clear that the Biden reelection campaign will be focused on domestic issues.

It’s a tough line to walk, but it’s one Biden has continuously tried to. Republicans accused Biden of being taken over by a “wamp mob” in their response.

“After years of attacks on law enforcement by Democrats, violent criminals roam free, while law-abiding families live in fear,” she said.

“It’s up to us,” Biden said while talking about the case of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten during a traffic stop by Memphis police and later died. Nichols’ parents were guests of Biden’s. Nichols’ mother could at times be seen admonishing GOP members to stand at times.

“It’s up to all of us,” Biden continued. “We all want the same thing — neighborhoods free of violence, law enforcement who earn the community’s trust, our children to come home safely, equal protection under the law. That’s the covenant we have with each other in America. And we know police officers put their lives on the line every day, and we ask them to do too much.”

Biden actually received bipartisan standing applause, and the way he talked about it was a stark distinction from Republicans’ caricature of Biden as beholden to the extreme left.

In a preview of his expected argument in the battleground state, President Joe Biden highlighted US manufacturing in his State of the Union message to Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Biden made clear that he was willing to continue the fight as he hit the road, reigniting the social safety net argument with Republicans that sparked one of the most memorable moments in Tuesday’s speech. The argument highlighted Biden’s attempts to shift his message away from the “extreme MAGA” and “mega-MAGA” talking points of the 2022 midterm election.

The Republicans heckled Biden multiple times during the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, ignoring theshushes from the House Speaker. In moments throughout the address, Republicans in the House chamber shouted at Biden, protesting his approach to a wide range of issues such as immigration, Social Security and Medicare spending and the debt ceiling.

“The Democrats have been accusing me, since the first time I ran for office, of wanting to end Social Security, wanting to cut it, wanting to gut it, wanting to – I’ve never said that. I’ve always been consistent: I want to save it,” he said in a radio interview this week.

What Do We Know About Medicare and How Paul Biden and his Families Induced by the “Magnificent Republicans” Wonked in Congress

Shortly after Biden’s remarks near Madison, PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff asked him if he was expecting the kind of reaction he got in the House chamber.

Biden said he was from the people that did it. There is still a significant part of what I call the “MAGA Republicans”, even though most of the Republicans weren’t that way.

I hope that is true, he said during his speech. I’ll believe it when I see it when their budget’s laid down with the cuts they’re proposing. It appears that a deal was brokered on the House of Representatives floor last night.

Biden tried to make a bigger point about the positives of his first two years in office, when he tried to make a broader argument for working with GOP lawmakers.

“People sent us a clear message: Fighting for the sake of fighting gets us nowhere. He went on to argue against his Republican colleagues after he said we were getting things done.

He again urged Congress to raise the nation’s debt limit during his earlier remarks, warning against the “chaos”.

Biden also fired back at a television commentator he heard aboard Air Force One lamenting his focus on junk fees: “Junk fees may not matter to the wealthy people, but they matter of most folks like the home I grew up in. They add hundreds of dollars a month to make it harder to pay your bills or afford that family trip. I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and think they can get away with it.”

The 2012 congressional campaign comments were reviewed by CNN and found that he supported the replacement of Medicare with a system in which the government paid for part of the costs of private plans. In one interview with a local newspaper, he said that he supported the need for market forces to restructure Social Security.

During his 2012 campaign, DeSantis embraced then-Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget which became a political football in the 2012 presidential race, when Ryan was chosen as Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president. Democrats argued in 2012 Ryan’s budget plans turned Medicare into a “voucher” system, whereas Republicans called it “premium support.” Under the proposals, the government would subsidize seniors by partially paying for private plans or a traditional Medicare plan.

“I would embrace proposals like [Rep.] Paul Ryan offered, and other people have offered, that are going to provide some market forces in there, more consumer choice, and make it so that it’s not just basically a system that’s just going to be bankrupt when you have new people coming into it,” DeSantis told the St. Augustine Record in a video that was posted on YouTube at the time.

At the time, he had the support of conservative groups like the Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, and the Madison Project.

He hasn’t announced if he is going to run for president in 2024 or if he is just going to focus on culture war issues.

The president visited Florida on Thursday to stress his support for Medicare and Social Security in a state where they are used more than anywhere else. A senior White House advisor told CNN that the Florida visit will allow Biden to take the fight to DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, the architect of a plan that would sunset all federal legislation – including Social Security and Medicare – every five years and require Congress to pass them again.

He said in the interview that people with low incomes will probably get the same coverage. I think people who have been more successful won’t have to pay more. I will have premium support that’s going to guarantee me a certain amount of coverage.”

If you desire something over and above that and you want a Cadillac plan, then I think it’s best if it’s driven by the consumer. “And I just think that that makes sense.”

He said that Social Security and Medicare need to be restructured in a way that is financially sustainable for people in his generation.

After getting elected, one of DeSantis’ first interviews as a newly sworn-in member was on CNN on January 4, 2013, where he said he hoped Congress would take on restructuring entitlements when asked about Social Security and Medicare.

Biden and the White House have taken aim at specific Republican senators this week for their proposals that could affect the retirement and health care programs.

Biden didn’t tell the Wisconsin audience that the videos were from a decade ago, but they are authentic, even if he didn’t tell them about it. Lee pointed out that Biden neglected to mention the fact that he said at the 2010 event that Medicare beneficiaries should have their benefits left untouched as well as those who will retire in the next few years.

All federal legislation should be stopped in five years, not only the laws that created Social Security and Medicare, according to the plan’s official text. When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected Scott’s plan last year, McConnell too said that the plan “sunsets Social Security and Medicare within five years.”

Biden may have created an inaccurate impression, however, by mentioning the sunset proposal during the section of the State of the Union in which he discussed the battle over the debt ceiling. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made it clear that cutting Social Security and Medicare was not on the table in the current debt ceiling negotiations with the Biden administration.

“The president ran on protecting Medicare and Social Security from cuts, and he reiterated that in the State of the Union,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said this week. He’s been very clear these past couple of years. A bill from the 1970s is not part of the president’s agenda.”

In previous speeches, Biden has accused Johnson of saying that Medicare and Social Security should be considered discretionary spending rather than permanent entitlements, because Congress can’t approve it every year.

It’s impossible to definitively fact-check this particular dispute without Johnson specifying how he wants to “fix” and “save” the program. His office did not respond to a CNN request for comment.

Johnson accuses Biden of lying about his position on Social Security, and he also has said in interviews that it is a Ponzi scheme.

“In 1975, he has a bill, a sunset bill,” Scott said on CNN of Biden when he was a freshman senator. Every program has to be looked at fresh every 4 years, not just cost but worthiness.

Do Republicans Really Care About Social Security? The Democrats are Right about Medicare, Social Security, and the Pessimony Problem: What Will They Do if Trump Win?

[Republicans] all raised their hand. So guess what? We accomplished something. Unless they break their word. There are going to be no cuts in Medicare, Social Security.

The Republicans’ handling of themselves in the next year, as the fight for which party is most touching with the Americans plays out, could determine the depth of the foil Biden has in this group when he runs for president.

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