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Breaking Promises

Chan Lowe
© Chan Lowe

Now that Trump is the president elect, “building the wall” with Mexico has somehow stopped being mentioned at all. Trump is already breaking campaign promises, and he isn’t even president yet.

But that’s not the biggest campaign promise that Trump is about to break. During the campaign, Trump promised over and over again “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I am not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” Well, he is already changing his tune, and consequently updating his website. As Electoral Vote noted:

Now, it appears that Trump is seeing the light—at least, the one that emanates from Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan would like to replace Medicare with vouchers and block grants to states, with an eye to shrinking (and likely eliminating) the program in the long term. Sometime this weekend, Trump’s transition website was updated to include Trump’s belief that we need to “Modernize Medicare” (English translation: vouchers) and “Maximize flexibility for States in administering Medicaid” (English translation: block grants).

There’s a name for this, and it is called “bait and switch”. My only question is, if Trump follows “every other Republican” and cuts Social Security and Medicare, how are Trump supporters going to react? Will they find a way to blame this on the Democrats? Or will they realize that — as Paul Krugman points out — that this will be “one of the most blatant violations of a campaign promise in history”.

What makes this even more ironic is that cuts to Medicare and Social Security will hurt Trump’s most rabid supporters the most. Will they not care?



  1. Dave TN wrote:

    While i will admit to not having the full picture of this “voucher” program, I see it as Obamacare for seniors in that they expect seniors to buy their own insurance exclusively. But not directly with a tax break but a voucher instead, one that could probably only be used if you buy the insurance. Only a select few will probably be able to purchase the insurance which means a lions share of the vouchers will go unspent. This then will be a win win situation for the republicans because they see it as less money spent by the government. But this is a very short term outlook because the medical industry will suffer greatly at this loss of income, not even mentioning the greater suffering that will be experienced by seniors. This will put quite a damper on the economy since the medical industry is a major player in it these days. Add on top of this the shutting down of the ACA and the amount of spending in this market will be greatly reduced triggering layoffs in the medical industry.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  2. James wrote:

    I expect that trump will blame Obama, claiming that the the state of social security / medicare funding is sooo much worse that reported and accusing democrats of a massive coverup, of an effort to defraud the American people and that he has no other option but to modernize … you heard it here first.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink
  3. Dave TN wrote:

    James, Ryan has already lain the blame for Medicares future demise on the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare. If they would only spent one tenth of the effort they expend on placing blame instead on actually governing we might have a functioning government.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    As Dave points out, Paul Ryan is already blaming the need to “fix” Medicare on Obamacare. As many people who are based in reality are pointing out, this is a complete lie. In fact, the opposite is true — the ACA included quite a few fixes to Medicare that improved it and extended its life. If you haven’t already, click on the one link in the above article and read it.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink
  5. Ralph wrote:

    The gummint a-messin’ with my Medicare? I do declare, The South, er, Tea Party shall rise again!

    Hey, it’s not like Herr Gropenfuhrer didn’t have a long and storied history on record. His duplicity is practically legendary, but there you go. Eventually, though, progressives need to come out of there funk and the country generally will need to deal with the repercussions head-on, which may quite possibly be legendary in their own right. Here’s a few suggestions for progressives, for starters.

    I’d add one more, perhaps even before lolgop’s #1 in priority. Civic education in our classrooms, early and often, until of voting age. Which I admit is actually a pretty tall order, given many of our inner city schools don’t even have enough textbooks or paper and pencils.

    Clearly, the Democratic Party grossly miscalculated. However one may feel about the Electoral College, both parties knew the rules and planned (or not) accordingly. And the fact that a political neophyte, running a highly disorganized, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants campaign, defeated a highly organized and funded one must have the Party questioning its methods and mandates, which is obviously sorely needed now. Despite the overall popular vote, that Hillary missed connecting with a significant segment of the Rust Belt, along with her other vulnerabilities real or imagined, only highlights the Democrats thin bench. And given the solid Republican strongholds in most state legislatures and statehouses overall, it’s not only in DC where they need some serious soul searching, outreach and practical solutions that really speak to people they ostensibly claim to represent.

    That’s my moderately long winded story and I’m a-stickin’ with it!

    Peace and turkey leftovers to all.

    Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

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