Joe Biden called for Cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veteran Benefits

He’s been very consistent:

AS EARLY AS 1984 and as recently as 2018, former Vice President Joe Biden called for cuts to Social Security in the name of saving the program and balancing the federal budget. Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders highlighted Biden’s record on Social Security in prosecuting the case that Biden isn’t the most electable candidate. The issue could be raised again in Tuesday night’s debate.

After a Sanders campaign newsletter continued the attack on Biden’s Social Security record, the Biden campaign complained to fact-checkers at Politifact that his comments were being taken out of context. Placed in context, however, Biden’s record on Social Security is far worse than one offhand remark. Indeed, Biden has been advocating for cuts to Social Security for roughly 40 years.

And after a Republican wave swept Congress in 1994, Biden’s support for cutting Social Security, and his general advocacy for budget austerity, made him a leading combatant in the centrist-wing battle against the party’s retreating liberals in the 1980s and ’90s.


He can’t runaway from his record:

What that record shows is that Biden has a 40-year history of being open to Social Security cuts, including raising the retirement age, reducing cost-of-living adjustments and, worst of all, means testing, which would convert Social Security from an earned social insurance benefit to welfare. That would not just cut Social Security but destroy it.

But why is the history important, now that Biden has joined Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in embracing expansion with no cuts? It raises questions of judgment and even more seriously, the failure to understand the mistakes of the past. Biden recently tweeted “I’ve been fighting to protect — and expand — Social Security for my whole career.” That claim isn’t remotely true. Biden is entirely unwilling to admit his past Social Security error.

Effective compromise requires a deep understanding of one’s values, so one knows where to compromise and where to hold firm. Biden’s record shows that in the past, he did not understand when to hold firm. That raises the question of whether he knows when to do so in the future.


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