Bernie Slams Biden For Repeatedly Trying To Cut Social Security Earned Benefits

In a CNN primetime interview, Bernie spotlights Biden’s repeated efforts to slash the retirement program.

By David Sirota
Berne Notice / Sanders Campaign (1/7/20)

In a primetime CNN interview, Bernie pointed out that Joe Biden repeatedly tried to cut Social Security and Medicare — programs that polls show Democratic voters want protected. Click here to watch the clip.

Biden’s for years has tried to slash Social Security and Medicare — all while Bernie was working to stop those cuts. Indeed, the late William Greider noted in The Nation that “Bernie single-handedly forced the issue of Social Security expansion onto the national political agenda.”

Here are four key points about Biden’s repeated efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare:

1. BIDEN’S BRAGGED OF TRYING TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE: In 1995, Biden delivered an impassioned Senate floor speech bragging that he had tried to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits four separate times. The video is now going viral — watch it here:

2. BIDEN BACKED GOP TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY, THEN TRIED TO PAY FOR IT WITH SOCIAL SECURITY CUTS: The Huffington Post reports that in the 1980s, Biden voted for a GOP tax bill that slashed the top income tax rate “and exempted many wealthy families from the estate tax on unearned inheritances…He then called for a spending freeze on Social Security in order to reduce the deficits that tax law helped to create.”

3. IN 2007, BIDEN FLOATED SOCIAL SECURITY & MEDICARE CUTS: NBC News reported that when Biden ran for president in 2008, he proposed a Social Security plan that “would include discussing options such as upping the retirement age.”  When Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert asked Biden if he would consider cutting Social Security and Medicare, Biden said “The answer is absolutely…you’ve got to put all of it on the table.”

4. IN 2018, BIDEN LAUDED PAUL RYAN FOR PROPOSING CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE: The Week reports that in 2018, Biden gave a speech declaring that “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we’re in trouble” and then declaring that “Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we had to go after? Social Security and Medicare … That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it.”

Bern after reading.

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Older Voters Supporting Biden Need A Reality Check: He Has Worked Hard & Cut Deals To Slash Both Medicare & Social Security

By Branko Marcetic
In These Times (4/26/19)

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who officially announced his presidential campaign on Thursday, is positioning himself as the defender of the embattled working class: giving speeches to union audiences, tapping organized labor for early support, walking the Stop & Shop picket lines, and pairing his announcement with a reportedly impending endorsement from the International Association of Firefighters, who have pledged to help him raise money.

However, an episode from the not-so-distant past cuts against this “friend of the working man” image: Biden’s leading role in the Obama administration’s 2011 efforts to slash the deficit by offering Republicans spending cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

At the time, the GOP had just finished giving then-President Obama a “shellacking” in the 2010 midterms, with a brand new majority in the House to show for it. Obama was largely focused on three things: raising the debt ceiling to avoid a looming and potentially catastrophic debt default; avoiding a government shutdown; and reaching a “grand bargain” with Republicans over spending, including to so-called entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare that had long been in the crosshairs of the GOP and other deficit hawks.

Obama had been open about his plans to take on Social Security and Medicare, pledging to the staff of the Washington Post only a few days before his 2009 inauguration that he would “spend some political capital on this.” He tasked Biden, a veteran of congressional wheeling and dealing, with spearheading negotiations. …

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