Here's Donald Trump, being interviewed by Joe Kernen on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning:
TRUMP: Go ahead.
KERNEN: Entitlements ever be on your plate?
TRUMP: At some point, they will be. We have had tremendous growth. Toward the end of the year, the growth will be incredible. At the right time, we'll take a look at that.
KERNEN: Are you willing to do things you didn't consider in the past with Medicare?
TRUMP: We never had assets like we had. We never had the consumer taking in over $10,000 a family, we never had the kind of things we had our country is the hottest in the world, the hottest economy in the world, best unemployment ever, African-American, Asian-American, Hispanics best they've ever done. Black, best they've ever done. Unemployment and employment, there is a difference. Unemployment and employment numbers for African-Americans are the best we've ever had. We just came up with a chart.
You know that was the entire point of running up the deficit, right?
Donald Trump won’t say it, but Republicans in the Senate will: Social Security and Medicare would be on the chopping block in a second Trump term. Pointing to rising deficits, Republican senators have all but promised to gut entitlements if Trump gets four more years.
He tried to push through major spending cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in last year's budget.
This past October, Romney introduced the TRUST Act, which would create a fast-track, closed-door process for cutting Social Security and Medicare. Of course, Romney isn’t saying he’d cut benefits, which is incredibly unpopular with voters of all political stripes. Instead, he’s using an Orwellian euphemism ― “strengthen.” But we know what Romney means, because politicians don’t shut the door when they’re trying to do something popular.
If Trump gets reelected, it will happen. Because his presidency is Wall Street Christmas, and this is the biggest, shiniest ornament of them all:
Republicans on Capitol Hill say Donald Trump may be willing to cut Social Security and Medicare if he wins in 2020, reportedly describing the potential move as a “second-term project”.
Several senators told the New York Times in a report published this week they spoke to the president about reducing the costs of the federal health care and retirement programmes — a move that would likely stir controversy in a presidential election season.
This week in the Democratic primary:
Just to make sure you all understand: There is NO WAY IN HELL a Democratic president in 2021 is going to cut Social Security and Medicare. The Grand Bargain fever has passed, and it's not coming back in the foreseeable future. (Remember me, the person who kept warning you about various attempts to cut Social Security? I pay close attention to these things.)
So please, ignore all the intramural crossfire on this. There is no threat from Joe Biden. I'm not especially fond of Biden, but he's still far ahead in the polls and as of now, he's the likely candidate. So can we please not relive the 2016 wars all over again? We all know how that turned out.
As always: The real threat is the Orange Cheeto. Eyes on the prize, people.