2024 GOP 'Platform': Gut Social Security And Medicare

My original title said something about Republicans lying about Medicare and Social Security. I probably could have just left the title at “Republicans are lying,” since that’s all they do. But this particular lie is baked into their “platform,” an all-caps bullet list which conveniently omits any mention of abortion and promises to “fight for” Medicare and Social Security.

Dedicating their all-caps manifesto to the “Forgotten Men and Women of America,” most of the list is just a restatement of the culture wars, with promises to “seal the borders” and deport anyone who is Black or brown. On and on it goes, every plank a statement of yet another grievance. Inflation, energy dominance, tax cuts, no tax on tips! It’s all there, and as cynical as one might imagine. Wouldn’t it be great to just get rid of tips altogether and pay workers a living wage? Instead, this nonsense about tax on tips. All lies, they’re not going to lower taxes on working people because they need us to pay for all of the tariffs Trump will impose.

But I want to zero in on one specific plank, because it’s such an obvious and cynical play for those elderly Republicans who have long powered their bid for power: Social Security and Medicare. Here’s how they word that promise (lol): “FIGHT FOR AND PROTECT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE WITH NO CUTS, INCLUDING NO CHANGES TO THE RETIREMENT AGE.”

Trump also pays lip service to it in his Agenda47 videos posted on his campaign website. But rather than explaining how that is done, he blames immigrants for the deficits. Project 2025 calls for a dismantling of the administrative state. That will include Medicare and Social Security. Furthermore, Republicans have already proposed cuts to Social Security and want to raise the retirement age, so putting an all-caps declaration in a platform that is an outright lie like everything Trump says is meaningless. They plan to gut all of the social safety net — The ACA, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

At first glance, one might think their lie was lifted from the Democrats’ platform, but Republicans have a very different idea of what “fighting for” involves. I guess they’re hoping we don’t remember 2004, when a newly elected George W. Bush preened like a peacock while vowing to privatize Social Security by spending his “political capital.” In early 2005, he rolled out his plan for younger workers to invest their Social Security contributions themselves in the stock market. In his 2005 State of the Union, he said this: “As we fix Social Security, we also have the responsibility to make the system a better deal for younger workers. And the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts.”

That effort failed miserably, because everyone knows that investing in “personal accounts” is just a money grab for billionaires and scammers. We already have investing in personal accounts by way of IRAs, SEPs, and 401(k) plans. For some, those plans work out well. For others, not at all. And for people who retired in 2008-2011, they were a disaster, thanks to the Wall Street meltdown that wiped out over half of their savings. The Republican plan is for working people to take on all the risk when it comes to their retirement, instead of having a guaranteed income upon which they can build.

As for Medicare, it’s been their plan all along to shift everything to Medicare Advantage plans so the insurance companies can take their pound of flesh out of everyone’s contributions and ultimately bankrupt everyone. When they say “no changes to the retirement age” what they’re really saying is that they’re unwilling to address solutions that require every billionaire to pay more taxes in order to honor the Constitutional obligation to look after the “general welfare” of the people of this nation.

This “platform” was clearly written by Trump himself. So I urge you to read what he says and then watch this video to understand what the planks of their platform really mean. They certainly hold no promise for working people, retirees, young people or anyone other than the billionaires. And probably Vladimir Putin, too.

Social Security and Medicare must be expanded, not privatized. It should be job one in Biden’s next term.

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