One of Donald Trump’s most consistent positions throughout the presidential election was that he would not, under any circumstances, cut Medicare and Social Security. Let’s roll the tape:
I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015
“I am going to save Social Security without any cuts. I know where to get the money from. Nobody else does.” – my @SRQRepublicans speech
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2015
He’s even challenged other Republicans on the issue, telling WROK radio in Wisconsin, “Paul [Ryan] wants to knock out Social Security, knock it down, way down. He wants to knock Medicare way down. … I want to keep Social Security intact. … I’m not going to cut it, and I’m not going to raise ages, and I’m not going to do all of the things that they want to do. But they want to really cut it, and they want to cut it very substantially, the Republicans, and I’m not going to do that.”
That was then; this is now. The first big sign that Trump intended to break his promise on Medicare and Social Security was his selection of House budget chair Tom Price, a vocal advocate of privatizing Medicare and means-testing Social Security (that is, reducing benefits for higher-income beneficiaries), as secretary of health and human services. The second was his selection of Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus who has described Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and argued that we must “end Medicare as we know it,” as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).