‘You’re gonna listen to the Freedom Caucus?’: WH budget director implies GOP can’t be trusted on Social Security reform

As members of Generation X will tell you, many Americans have grown up believing the money they’ve spent a lifetime pouring into Social Security won’t be there when they reach retirement age.

But even as government spending has spiraled into the realm of insanity, any proposals to cut waste from federal programs and reform Social Security before it succumbs to insolvency have been met with intense bi-partisan backlash, as though those who can do simple math want to see Grandma and Grandpa starve to death in a homeless shelter.

As BizPac Review has reported, former President Donald Trump and the “America First” Freedom Caucus have vowed that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will not be touched on their watch, despite warnings that Social Security will likely go bust by 2033.

Those assurances from Republicans are not to be trusted, according to the White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget Shalanda Young, who claimed at Friday’s White House press briefing that GOP members “want to go backwards.”

Despite the promises from conservative leaders, Young insisted that there are people who want to cut Social Security, and President Joe Biden doesn’t want that on his watch, either.

CBS News’s Steven Portnoy had the audacity to suggest to Young that now might be a good time for President Biden to consider a compromise.

Young explained that Biden isn’t interested in telling her 94-and-a-half-year-old grandmother that he’s going to cut her benefits “with this budget” like “some people” in Congress want to do.

“What this budget says is that this president is not interested in that conversation,” she stated. “And his budget says, ‘not on his watch.'”

“And we think the existential crisis for Social Security is making sure that our American seniors know that this president is going to stand behind them,” Young added.

“The thinking is that Social Security only has about 12 more years of solvency left,” Portnoy pointed out in a follow-up. “This seems like a good opportunity, isn’t it? With a divided government, for the president to make a proposal, hope for a compromise? He doesn’t seem to be interested in doing that.”

“You assume the debate is from cutting no benefits and moving forward,” she responded. “We’re trying to protect the benefits that are there now. I wish we are at the point in the debate where we sit down and can come up with proposals to extend. Unfortunately, it is clear that some people want to go backwards.”

“He’s proposing not to accept any benefit cuts,” Portnoy pressed. “But the Republican leaders say they’re not proposing benefit cuts.”

“Who you gonna listen to? You’re gonna listen to the Freedom Caucus?” Young fired back. “Monday, one thing is said. Tuesday, another thing’s said. We’ll know if that is an ironclad commitment. We hope it is. Until we see a plan, excuse us for wanting to see it in black and white, and see that it’s supported by the majority of the conference.”

Portnoy’s colleague, Nancy Cordes, picked up the baton and added Medicare’s projected insolvency to the mix, noting that Biden’s proposed budget “will extend Medicare for another 25 years or so.”

“So why no proposal for extending Social Security’s solvency, which is almost as dire?” she asked Young.

“We believe the greatest existential threat to Social Security today is those who want to cut it,” Young stated again, offering no actual answer to Cordes’s question. “So our position — his position — is, ‘that is not on the table. Not on his watch.’ And that’s what this budget says.”

When asked whether Biden will, on his watch, ever put something on the table that will guarantee Young’s grandma will still get her Social Security check ten or 15 years from now, Young made it clear that the president has not bothered to think that far into the future.

“What this president will do,” she explained, “is make sure that he is a backstop and will stop attacks on the program from people who want to cut it.”

“Gobbledygook government,” wrote one Twitter user in response to Young’s statements. “Give me patience, Lord.”

Melissa Fine


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles