‘Not on my watch!’ Biden slams Trump for floating cuts to Social Security and Medicare

‘Not on my watch!’ Biden slams Trump for floating cuts to Social Security and Medicare

Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka: 'Democrats have nothing to offer but a screeching old man'

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 12/03/2024

- 09:43

Millions of Americans rely on Social Security and Medicare once they reach retirement age

President Joe Biden has slammed Donald Trump for floating “there is a lot” that can be when it comes cutting Social Security and Medicare.

The Republican presidential candidate was asked by CNBC’s Joe Kernen if he had changed his perspective on “how to handle entitlements”.

Former President Trump said: “So first of all, there is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements — in terms of cutting — and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements.

“Tremendous bad management of entitlements. There is tremendous amounts of things, and numbers of things, you can do.”

Taking to social media, Biden declared “not on my watch” in response to a clip of his predecessor’s appearance.

The White House also published an official statement which refereed to Social Security and Medicare cuts as “backwards”.

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Donald Trump and Joe Biden

President Joe Biden is slamming Trump over his stance on Social Security


This is latest pushback from the Biden campaign ahead of November’s Presidential Election with Trump leading national polls.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the White House warned that “Republican officials plan to cut Medicare and Social Security” following the President’s State of Union address.

“On Thursday, this President was clear that, ‘If anyone here tries to cut Social Security or Medicare or raise the retirement age, I will stop you ... I’ll protect and strengthen Social Security and make the wealthy pay their fair share'," he said.

“Cutting the Medicare and Social Security benefits that Americans have paid to earn their whole lives — only to make room for yet more unaffordable, trickle down tax giveaways to the super wealthy — is exactly backwards.”

During his appearance on CNBC, Kernen described Government entitlements as a “third rail of politics” with policymakers fearful of cutting them to avoid being voted out office.

The host told Trump “that something needs to be done” to reduce federal Government debt by cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Based on figures from the US Treasury, the federal Government has a debt totalling around $34.46trillion.

During the 2023 fiscal, the federal Government spent an estimated $6.13trillion with Social Security accounting for 22 per cent of expenditure.

This makes it the biggest expense in federal spending with Medicare and Medicaid programs tied with defence as the second-largest budget line at 14 per cent.

Latest figures suggest more than 150 million Americans are covered by these health programs which is about 45 per cent of the United States’ population.

Older Americans make up the majority of Medicare recipients while Medicare covers those on low income.

Based on statistics from the Social Security Administration (SSA), almost 68 million receive benefits every month which is around 20 per cent of the population in the US.


Social Security check

Millions of retirees claim Social Security for financial support


The majority of Social Security claimants are those aged 62 or older who are also more likely to vote in elections that other age groups.

In the 2020 election, the US Census Bureau reported that “voter turnout was highest among those ages 65 to 74 at 76.0 per cent”.

Biden and Trump will be looking to entice these same voters ahead of November with any promises of cuts to Social Security potentially jeopardising a presidential campaign.

Four years ago, Trump won voters aged 50 to 64 and 65 or older against Trump despite losing the election.

However, his recent suggestion of cuts to Social Security and Medicare could risk his electoral success with this demographic.

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