GOP plans showdown on Social Security, Medicare

Republicans want to eliminate Social Security benefits to anyone who retires before age 70 and refuse Medicare benefits to anyone before age 70.

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Columnists

October 18, 2022 - 4:17 PM

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The single biggest thing at stake in next month’s midterm elections has attracted only a sliver of the attention dedicated to subjects such as Dr. Oz’s dog experiments, girls’ high school sports or Hunter Biden’s drug habit. The most important issue in this campaign is the Republican plan to reduce spending on popular social programs and jeopardize the full faith and credit of the US government.

Of course, ignoring boring questions like the disposition of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending in favor of largely content-free cultural disputes is a longstanding tradition in US politics. But that doesn’t mean it makes sense.

Republicans have been somewhat circumspect about their plan, though it’s not exactly a secret. All four House Republicans seeking the top spot on the Budget Committee favor linking the debt ceiling to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “Our main focus has got to be on nondiscretionary — it’s got to be on entitlements,” says Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia.

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