Recently, CNBC host John Harwood sat down with Representative Steve Stivers, Republican of Ohio, who leads the GOP fight to keep control of the House of Representatives in November. As the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Stivers has a huge voice in the priorities and policies of the GOP platform as they head into the midterm elections this fall.
Although the interview was wide-ranging, the most striking portion of it was definitely a segment in which the reporter asked the Congressman about how Republicans plan to pay for the tax cuts they enacted along with President Trump, which immediately added $1.5 trillion to the US deficit.
Stivers’ plan is chilling if your future rests on the notion of Medicare or Social Security, two “entitlement” programs upon which most American seniors heavily rely, and which all Americans have paid into since the very first paycheck they ever received.
Harwood asked if Stivers had any “misgivings” about the tax cut, considering it was not offset by increases in revenue in any other areas, and his immediate response was enough to give pause to even the most fervently conservative seniors:
STIVERS: I do think we need to deal with our some of our spending. We’ve got to try to figure out how to spend less.
HARWOOD: Entitlements? Social Security, Medicare?
STIVERS: Yeah, I mean, what I think we need to do is get some people who are now on government programs jobs, we have more open jobs than we have people on unemployment. So if we could get people to go from unemployment, or a government program, to become a taxpayer, it’s a twofer because not only are they getting less government assistance, they probably have a better life economically and they’re actually paying taxes.”
Working seniors? Harwood later sought to clarify the Congressman’s position:
HARWOOD: Your speaker, Paul Ryan, has said the biggest spending issues are in those big entitlement programs, Medicare and Social Security, as opposed to food stamps or welfare or that sort of thing.
STIVERS: They are. And we have 10 million people on Social Security disability now — actually, 11 million — more than any time in history.
HARWOOD: But also Social Security and Medicare, right?
STIVERS: The only way we’re going to be able to fix Social Security and Medicare is for the two parties to come together — the way that Ronald Reagan did with Tip O’Neill — and figure out how to fix them together. I hope we can do that, I believe it’s the right thing to do.
HARWOOD: Retirement age?
STIVERS: We need to come together. I think we need to say, ‘You give a little, we give a little.'”
Watch the clip here:
The Ohio Republican went on to discuss eliminating Social Security and Medicare benefits for people in upper-income brackets, although this would be a violation of the social compact promised by the two programs and would represent a very real theft from those who have paid into it.
Any and all of this should be alarming for seniors, and for those who have actually heard of the Republican plan, the GOP platform is heartbreaking and terrifying.
How many seniors who supported Donald Trump can bring themselves to vote Republican again after finding out that their party intends to take away their retirement?
Featured image via screen capture