JD Vance changes course on Social Security and Medicare

JD Vance changes course on Social Security and Medicare
Image via Gage Skidmore

Ohio Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance appears to be switching gears on his stance regarding cuts to major reforms for Medicare and Social Security.

Speaking to HuffPost via email, the "Hillbilly Elegy" author, who recently clinched Ohio's Republican Senate nomination, has confirmed that no longer supports the idea of imposing cuts for either of the government programs. He also weighed in with his take on the possibility of privatizing those same programs.

“I don’t support cuts to social security or Medicare and think privatizing social security is a bad idea,” Vance wrote in the email. The Senate hopeful's latest remarks are a complete shift in comparison to his previous remarks.

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In a blog post written back in 2010, Vance, according to HuffPost, "argued that Social Security and Medicare were among the biggest drivers of large federal budget deficits, but that neither Democrats nor Republicans had the political will to enact deep cuts to either federal entitlement program."

“The political obstacles intimidate more than the practical problems,” Vance, who published under the name J.D. Hamel, wrote on his personal blog while attending Yale Law School. “The party of, umm, limited government — the Republican Party — is also the party of the aging white person. The party’s only solid constituency thus depends on the Medicare and Social Security Benefits that are the biggest roadblocks to any kind of real fiscal sanity. The Democrats are similarly hopeless.”

Vance's post leaned toward the conservative perspective on budgeting at the time. Following the last recession, Republicans focused on "large budget deficits and a mounting federal debt" in their criticisms of former President Barack Obama.

When Republicans took over the House in 2010, those budget cuts became one of their main focal points but now Democrats are pushing for more expansive measures.

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Vance also argued the U.S. should focus on its "long-term budget problems" before "[breaking] promises we've made to our seniors."

“We have a long-term budget problem for two reasons,” he said. “First, we shipped millions of good jobs to China and other countries. Millions of people who had family supporting (and tax paying) jobs then shifted onto welfare rolls. Second, our country doesn’t have enough children, meaning that we have too few young workers supporting the broader economy.”

Vance also said, “We should fix these problems, not break promises we’ve made to our seniors."

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