President Joe Biden started off his State of the Union address with a wonderful call for unity.
“You know, we’re often told that Democrats and Republicans can’t work together. But over the past two years, we proved the cynics and naysayers wrong,” Biden said. “To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there’s no reason we can’t work together and find consensus on important things in this Congress as well.”
But then he got nasty.
“So my — many of — some of my Republican friends want to take the economy hostage — I get it — unless I agree to their economic plans. All of you at home should know what those plans are. Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share, some Republicans — some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset. I’m not saying it’s a majority –”
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: Let me give you —
THE PRESIDENT: Anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I’ll give you a copy. I’ll give you a copy of the proposal.
But that hasn’t happened. Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has offered an 11-point plan that includes a proposal for every piece of federal legislation to sunset after five years. If the legislation works, Congress could simply renew it.
Yet Democrats love their “Mediscare.” They love telling the American people that the GOP is going to attack the most vulnerable in our nation — knowing full well that it’s not true.
For his part, Scott dismissed Biden’s accusations as a “dishonest move” by a “very confused president.” “I will not be intimidated by Joe Biden twisting my words,” he added.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, too, has pondered reformations to Social Security.
“There are modest reforms in entitlements that can be done without disadvantaging anybody at the point of the need,” Pence said last week. That isn’t exactly doing away with the entitlement programs.
Pence has also suggested the U.S. government let younger Americans put part of their Social Security withholdings into a private savings account, but that idea went nowhere when George W. Bush proposed it back in the aughts.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has gone further, saying in 2010, it “will be my objective to phase out Social Security, to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.”
After backlash, he walked that back, eventually proposing a privatization plan similar to Pence’s.
Other Republicans have suggested moving the threshold age for Medicare to 67 and for Social Security to 70 in an attempt to reduce costs. But Republicans joined Democrats this year in boosting Social Security by 14% in the 2023 budget, and Medicare is set for a $32 billion increase, taking its gross spending on benefits above $1 trillion.
So Republicans don’t really want to do away with either program. But Biden got himself worked up into a tizzy, foaming at the mouth as he said, “Those benefits belong to the American people. They earned it. And if anyone tries to cut Social Security … if anyone tries to cut Medicare, I’ll stop them. I’ll veto it.”
“And, look, I’m not going to allow them to take away — be taken away. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”
Well, no one’s trying to do that, Mr. President. And you know that.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.