Republicans Face Inner Turmoil Over Proposed Retirement Changes

( – The idea that politicians could cut Social Security and raise Medicare premiums is not popular with the American people. Nearly 80% and 67%, respectively, are opposed to those changes to the programs. Generally, lawmakers go out of their way to avoid talks of cuts, especially during an election year.

A House Republican think tank that includes nearly 80% of the caucus recently released a budget that proposes making cuts to both programs, raising the retirement age, and ending the Affordable Care Act. That has created issues within the party.

Cuts to Social Security

In early March, former President Donald Trump brought up the idea of making cuts to the programs. During an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” he said there was “a lot” lawmakers could do to entitlements, “in terms of cutting and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements.” He received so much criticism that he reversed his position.

Days later, the House Republican Study Committee (RSC), which includes all of the House GOP leadership and more than 170 conservative representatives, released a report titled “Fiscal Sanity to Save America.”

The report calls on lawmakers to raise the retirement age for future retirees to adjust for increased life expectancy. Although the budget doesn’t mention a specific age, Republicans have called for increasing the age to 69 in the past. It would also decrease benefits for Americans who are high earners.

As for Medicare, the proposal calls for it to shift to a “premium support model,” where it would compete with private plans. The government would give them subsidies to let them buy their own policy. The amount would vary by market and person.

Response to Plan

The proposal was released during what’s likely to be one of the most important elections in American history. It’s also projected to be incredibly close. With the White House, Senate, and House on the line for Republicans, some are baffled that the topic of cutting benefits is being brought up.

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) called it a “terrible idea” and called it a “gift to the Democrats.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) said, “Horrible idea. Totally opposed to this,” in response to raising the retirement age. He called it a “terrible idea” and said if the GOP wants to be in the minority forever, then they should “go ahead and endorse that.” Hawley continued ranting, calling his party “stupid” and saying it was the “stupidest thing” he’d ever heard that Conservatives want to tell hardworking Americans that they will have to work longer and they’re going to take away part of the benefits that those people paid into their entire lives.

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