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Trump hits Biden on Social Security, Medicare flip flops

Biden Social Security plan would eventually raise taxes for more than just wealthy Americans: Study

UBS President & former Obama economic adviser Robert Wolf breaks down the study's results.

With barely more than a week to go before the November election, President Trump has been taking Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to task for his mixed record on cutting Medicare and Social Security.

At one of two campaign rallies in Florida last Friday, Trump accused his Democratic rival of lying at the previous night’s presidential debate when asked if he wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security.

“For years Joe Biden fought to cut your social security. He wanted to cut it. He wanted to knock it out and Medicare, which Joe has now falsely denied. You notice? Oh, I loved it yesterday. The way he denied that,” Trump told the crowd in The Villages, before showing them a clip of a debate between Biden and Bernie Sanders from earlier this year.

In the clip, Sanders confronts Biden regarding comments he’s made over the years from the Senate floor.

“Have you been on the floor of the Senate … time and time again talking about the necessity – with pride – about cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting veterans programs?” Sanders asks.

“No,” Biden replies.

“You never said that?” Sanders asks.

“No,” Biden replies again.

The clip then cuts to an audio recording of Biden from 1995, in which he appeared to be advocating for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits.

When pressed by Sanders, Biden repeatedly denied that he had made these comments over the years.

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (AP)

After the clip, Trump applauded the makers of the video and rehashed his allegations of Biden not being forthright on his positions.

“He’s a liar. He lies about everything. He’s now lying about not being a corrupt politician,” Trump said. “Under my leadership, no one will touch your Medicare, and nobody will touch your Social Security.”


Trump reiterated the allegations against Democratic opponent at another rally – in Pensacola, Fla. – later that day.

"Joe Biden spent his entire time in the Senate — long, long days, hours, nights — working to cut your Social Security," Trump said. "You don't know about that -- to cut your Medicare -- people don't know about that. He denies it. He denied it last night."

During the presidential debate last Thursday, Biden had attacked Trump for an executive order he signed in August, which allowed employers to stop withholding payroll taxes from their workers’ paychecks.

Biden claimed that the move would cause the Social Security program to “be bankrupt by 2023 with no way to make up for it.”

“This the guy who’s tried to cut Medicare. The idea that Donald Trump is lecturing me on Social Security and Medicare? Come on,” Biden said.


Biden's record on Social Security and Medicare has been mixed over the years. During his first term as senator, Biden co-sponsored a bill to increase monthly benefits by 7%. But throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Biden spoke out in favor of freezes to Social Security as a way to reduce the deficit. 

In 1984, Biden said "the only way that Congress will ever be able to come to grips with deficits is by dealing with all federal programs as a package." 

That same year, he co-sponsored a proposal with two Republican senators to freeze federal spending. The measure would have meant no Social Security cost-of-living adjustments for a year, but it was never passed. 

In the mid-1990s, Biden voted for a balanced-budget amendment that did not exclude reducing Social Security benefits. 

During the 2020 campaign, Biden has called for action to "make the (Social Security) program solvent and prevent cuts to American retirees." He has also proposed increasing the minimum benefit for lifelong workers and making payments for the oldest recipients more generous. To pay for this, he has called for raising taxes on upper-income households, according to PolitiFact

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with people outside a voter service center, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Chester, Pa.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with people outside a voter service center, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Chester, Pa. (AP)

Rosemary Boeglin, a spokesperson for Biden's campaign said "there is one candidate proposing to defund Social Security and slash Medicare benefits -- and that candidate is Donald Trump." 

"Joe Biden will protect Social Security and expand Medicare, just as he's done throughout his career," Boeglin told Fox News in a statement. "The reality is that Biden has long been a champion of Social Security, sponsoring legislation and casting nearly 50 votes to increase social security benefits or block Republican plans to curtail benefits." 


Boeglin said that unlike Trump, "Joe is working to expand health care benefits, not take them away. Trump is trying to kill the (Affordable Care Act), which not only expanded coverage to millions, it extended the life of the Medicare trust fund, lowered seniors' prescription drug costs, and provided them free services." 

Bradford Betz Fox News

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