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Trump Goes Into Damage Control After Revealing Plans to Cut Medicare and Social Security Benefits

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Photo of Donald Trump appearing on CNN
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During an interview on Monday, Donald Trump hinted at potential reductions in Social Security and Medicare benefits. His statements immediately prompted a defensive response from his campaign.

Trump’s remarks gave Joe Biden an opportunity, which he promptly seized. Trump’s comments were characterized as a suggestion that cuts could be made to programs providing financial support to retired and disabled workers.

When questioned about reducing spending and his approach to entitlements like Social Security and Medicare benefits, Trump suggested the possibility of cuts to the programs. He mentioned the need to address mismanagement and inefficiencies, as well as the potential for the country’s weakness to weaken Social Security benefits.

Trump’s campaign swiftly went into damage-control mode, issuing a statement emphasizing his focus on protecting entitlements and eliminating waste and fraud. However, Biden wasted no time in responding, pledging to safeguard the entitlements over 70 million Americans relied upon.

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Biden reaffirmed his commitment to not cutting Social Security and Medicare, instead aiming to strengthen and protect them while ensuring the wealthy contribute their fair share.

“I won’t cut Social Security, and I won’t cut Medicare,” Biden said, per CNN, adding: “I will protect and strengthen Social Security, Medicare and make the wealthy begin to pay their fair share.”

Despite requests for comment, representatives for Trump remained silent on the matter. The issue of Social Security and Medicare has long been divisive, with Trump previously urging Republicans to refrain from cutting the programs. He emphasized the importance of combating waste, fraud, and abuse while preserving the benefits earned by seniors throughout their lives.

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“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it, and there is plenty, there’s plenty of it,” Trump said. “But do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their lives. Save Social Security, don’t destroy it.”

“There is a lot you can do regarding entitlements in terms of cutting and theft, as well as bad entitlement management. There are tremendous amounts and numbers of things you can do,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen in a rambling response that touched on the stock market, oil drilling, and his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added: “I know that they’re going to end up weakening Social Security because the country is weak,” in an apparent suggestion that the Biden administration would cut the program.

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With a significant portion of retirees depending on these benefits, any potential cuts could have severe financial repercussions. Many retirees already struggle financially, with a majority living on limited incomes. Data from Sen. Bernie Sanders highlights the critical role Social Security plays in preventing poverty among older Americans.

Biden’s budget proposal includes a commitment to protect Social Security and Medicare benefits, ensuring they remain intact for those who have contributed throughout their working lives.

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