Posted on December 15, 2017
The Trump Tax Scam is a Huge Threat to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security
Last month, Republicans in both the House and Senate voted for bills that would cut Medicare by $400 billion in the next 10 years. Why make such draconian cuts to the hard-earned benefits of working and middle class Americans? To enact a huge tax giveaway to their billionaire donors.
If you hadn’t heard that Medicare is at risk of huge cuts, that’s because cable news and other corporate media outlets barely talked about that aspect of the bill. Instead of covering how the Tax Scam bill would hurt people, most coverage focused on the horserace politics and prospect of a “win” for Donald Trump and his extreme right-wing Republican lapdogs in Congress.
If the bill passes, their “win” will be the American people’s loss. The Tax Scam bill would trigger PAYGO, an ill-advised law passed in 2010 that requires all increases in the deficit to be offset by cuts to Medicare and other programs, including federal student loans, foster care subsidies and funding for Meals on Wheels. This is not a partisan talking point: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has announced that, if the Tax Scam is enacted this month, Medicare will be cut by $25 billion in 2018 and $400 billion over the next decade.
To be clear, this means that if a version of the Tax Scam legislation reaches Trump’s desk and he signs it, the law requires these cuts to Medicare. No other vote is required. Congress does have the ability to waive the cuts. But it’s doubtful that Speaker Paul Ryan, who freely admits that he has been dreaming of cutting Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security since he was drinking beer at frat parties, would suddenly decide he wants to help prevent cuts.
In fact, the PAYGO cuts to Medicare will be just the start. As Senator Marco Rubio admitted in a recent interview, the Republicans’ plan to use the Tax Scam as an excuse to demand even deeper cuts to Medicare – and Social Security and Medicaid, too. This shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone familiar with the history of the Republican elite.
They have opposed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid since their inception. After all, those programs are some of the best evidence that government, which is really just all of us pooling our resources and working together, can have a positive impact on people’s lives. That is anathema to the GOP elite’s anti-government ideology. Republican billionaire donors would rather have all the money that would be spent on these programs redistributed upward to themselves and their lucky heirs. If they have their way, their greed will force people to put what meager retirement savings they have in the volatile stock market and rely on private insurance for health care throughout their lives — or die if they can’t afford it.
The best way to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is to defeat the Trump Tax Scam. It is not too late. Although the House and the Senate have both passed bills, they have many differences that need to be reconciled in conference, and there will be another vote in both the House and the Senate prior to its enactment. That gives grassroots activists around the country time to apply pressure. We only need to flip three senators or a handful of representatives to defeat this horrible bill.
Now is the time to organize. Tell all of your friends that their Medicare is at urgent risk, and Social Security and Medicaid are in danger as well. If you live in a red state or congressional district, go to your elected official’s office and protest. Then call them daily.
Tell them that if they vote for the Tax Scam that cuts the American people’s Medicare in order to give tax giveaways to billionaires, you and your friends will vote against them at the ballot box. They will be replaced with candidates who promise to protect and expand Social Security and Medicare.
Linda Benesch is the Communications Director at Social Security Works, an organization that works to protect and expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and lower outrageously high drug prices that eat away at our earned benefits. Social Security Works is a longtime partner of CREDO, and CREDO members have voted to donate more than $438,000 to the organization since 2013. To learn more about who we fund and how we distribute our donations, visit CREDOdonations.com.