By a resounding margin of 30-0, Not Fake News readers who replied to last week's Snap Poll disagree with those who argue that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are responsible for the nation's record breaking budget deficit.
Here is the question:
"The Trump administration and Republicans blame the historic federal budget deficit on the increasing cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, among other programs. The administration's 2020 budget seeks to make cuts in all three. Do you agree these "entitlement" programs are to blame?"
As Not Fake News writer Steve Hamelman wrote on August 22, the $800 billion deficit, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is on track to push the nation into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II -- 74 years.
Someday someone will have to settle that debt, Hamelman wrote, adding, that as long as our government dithers and politicizes the issue, the more certain that that “someone” will be our posterity—children, grandchildren, and onward unto generations cursed by our folly.
Second, he stressed, we Americans must accept the fact that the Republican tax breaks of 2018 are a key reason for the pessimistic forecast. You get what you pay for. If you “pay” for Republican leaders, and if they give you tax cuts (cuts, it must be said, that disproportionately benefit corporations and wealthy individuals), then you get soaring deficits and threats of recession—not to mention everyday things like stagnant wages, underfunded social programs, and crumbling infrastructure.
But the hypocrisy of it all is that Republican leaders, and Trump's budget for 2020, would make major cuts in all three of those "entitlement" programs that are so important to everyday, average Americans, to cover the cost of the GOP/Trump tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy and corporate America.
And are they "entitlements?" What does that mean?
I'm retired and rely on Social Security for an important part of my livelihood. I paid into Social Security for more than 50 years. Yes, I would say that I'm "entitled" to my benefits. And anybody in Congress who attempts to reduce those benefits or make it more difficult to obtain them is running the risk of incurring unimaginable wrath from millions of people just like me.
The same goes for Medicare. It is not a "free" program. Between the Medicare premium cost that is deducted from our Social Security, the Part D drug premium, and two supplemental health insurance policies, my wife and I are paying about $900 monthly for healthcare coverage.
Medicaid is relied upon for millions of less fortunate Americans, those whose incomes are low enough to qualify. The Affordable Care Act provided opportunities for states to make Medicaid available to more people, but what did most red states do? They refused to provide that coverage and some have even imposed tougher work requirements that can leave many, many low income families without healthcare coverage.
Yea, Republicans, go ahead and do it. Cut those "entitlements." You will pay a heavy price at the polls in 2020.