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Fireworks in Congressional Hearing - The Hill

In case you’ve missed it, the Biden Administration has been accusing Republicans of wanting to “cut” Social Security and Medicare, at the same time that Republicans are adamantly denying that is true. For it’s part the Biden team has latched onto and mischaracterized a reform suggestion by one Republican Senator to substantiate its claim. Republicans, for their part, have pledged that cuts to either program are “off the table” in the current negotiations over the national debt ceiling. The conflict was keenly evident in yesterday’s Congressional hearing when one Republican Senator took a White House official to task over the President’s budget proposal, which completely neglects to address the looming insolvency of the Social Security program.

So what, actually, is a “cut?” As portrayed by the Administration and many Democrats in Congress, any Social Security reform of any type seems to be viewed as a “cut” which will affect all seniors now collecting benefits. But what’s absent in those depictions is that the only risk of benefit cuts to all beneficiaries is if no reform is untaken (cuts for all will occur if the Trust Fund reserves are fully depleted in 2033/2035). Reform is inevitable, as some Republicans have correctly opined, but only those still years away from collecting benefits would be affected. So you be the judge – does reforming the program to preserve it for future beneficiaries constitute a “cut?”

This article by Aris Folley posted at The Hill website, describes the contentious exchange in yesterday’s Congressional hearing, and puts the discussion of what constitutes a “cut” in benefits into perspective. Click here to read more.

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