alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

The GOP Isn't Even Trying to Hide It's Cruel Plan to Shred the Country's Most Popular Government Programs

As the GOP plows ahead with another round of budget-exploding tax cuts for the richjust before the crucial 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser and former television personality Larry Kudlow confirmed on Monday that the White House will push for cuts to life-saving safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security if the GOP retains control of Congress in November.


"We have to be tougher on spending," Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, declared in remarks to the Economic Club of New York.

Asked when Social Security and Medicare will be targeted for "reforms"—which, as one advocacy group noted, is "code for massive cuts"—Kudlow said, "Everyone will look at that—probably next year."

"Believe them when they say they are coming after Medicare and Social Security," Topher Spiro, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote on Twitter in response to Kudlow's comments. "This election is the last chance to stop them."

In the months since Trump signed into law the GOP's initial $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich, progressives have been warning that the White House and Republicans would attempt to use the resulting deficit explosion as a justification to slash popular programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Kudlow's comments represent the latest admission that this is precisely the GOP's plan of action if they are able to keep control of Congress in November.

"This is wholly unacceptable: Republicans giving huge tax breaks to the rich and now coming after the vital programs that millions of Americans rely upon," the progressive coalition Tax March declared in a tweet on Monday. "We won't allow it."

Republicans have long placed obliterating the safety net near the top of their party's list of priorities, but their attack on key public programs will likely take on even more intensity if they ram through Tax Scam 2.0, which experts say could cost an additional $3 trillion over ten years.

"For weeks, Republicans have been misleading the American public—the truth is they have been trying to cut Medicare for years," the advocacy group Protect Our Care noted. "Today, Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council, confirmed that they still have their sights set on Americans' care.

Despite Trump's insistence on the campaign trail that he would not go after Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the president's "morally bankrupt" 2019 budget proposal released earlier this year called for $1.7 trillion in cuts to safety net programs—including hundreds of billions in cuts to the very programs he vowed to shield.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close