Congresswoman Waters Statement on GOP Plan to Cut Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid

 Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued a statement on GOP efforts to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid due to the exploding federal deficit that was created by Donald Trump’s tax scam law: 

“Like so many Americans across this country, I was utterly appalled to learn that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is once again proposing devastating cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It is a testament to their moral depravity and endless greed that the Republicans and Donald Trump would once again attempt to break the social safety net to pay for their GOP Tax Scam law. Through their actions and words, the Republicans and Trump have made it abundantly clear that they are willing to break the backs of working families and America’s seniors to serve and enrich powerful corporations and Wall Street banks.

“Social Security is a bedrock of American society.  Signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the Social Security Act has provided economic stability and retirement security to millions of hard working Americans. Prior to the passage of this landmark law, many American seniors were forced to live in abject poverty, and many slept on the streets.  Social Security is financed by the payroll taxes seniors paid during their working years, and it provides financial security to more than 50 million seniors and disabled workers. Social Security keeps a roof over their heads and food on their tables.

“Like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are landmark programs that changed millions of lives since they were created by legislation signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965.  Today, Medicare serves more than 55 million seniors and disabled workers, ensuring that they can see a doctor and pay for prescription drugs and costly medical procedures.  Medicaid serves more than 70 million Americans, including more than 5 million low-income seniors, 10 million people with disabilities, and 28 million children.  Medicare and Medicaid save lives, help people live longer, and provide the peace of mind that comes with affordable health care that is there when you need it.

“Republicans have tried cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid before, and the American people have always stood up to oppose them.  In 2005, President George W. Bush proposed to privatize Social Security and allow Social Security funds to be invested in the stock market.  If this plan had succeeded, seniors would have lost millions in the stock market crash a few years later.  One would think by now that Republicans would have learned that the American people will not tolerate cuts to these essential programs.  Yet most Republicans still care more about their wealthy friends and campaign donors than the middle class families that depend upon the benefits they have earned.

“Last year, Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans slashed taxes for the wealthiest one percent and large corporations knowing full well that doing so would explode the federal deficit, cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, and jeopardize the economic well-being of hard working Americans. After the tax scam became the law of the land, Trump and his allies paraded around the country peddling false promises of more jobs that have not been created, raises that have not materialized, and tax cuts for working families that are modest at best and were temporary from the onset of this scheme. 

“Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even had the audacity to predict that the tax cuts did not need to be paid for because they would pay for themselves. However, ten months later, the federal deficit has skyrocketed 17 percent to an astonishing $779 billion – due in large part to the GOP tax scam – and Majority Leader McConnell has stated that the rising federal debt is ‘very disturbing,’ but is ‘driven by the three biggest entitlement programs that are very popular: Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid,’ implying a need for sharp budget cuts to these vital programs. 

“This is a shameful and unconscionable proposition from one of the so-called leaders of a Republican-controlled Congress that has repeatedly sold out working families to do the bidding of Donald Trump.

“I am outraged by McConnell’s announcement, and I intend to fight with every breath I have to protect seniors, veterans, children, and working families across our country.  When the President of the United States, Mitch McConnell, and their Republican allies decide to risk the lives, health, and well-being of millions of hard working Americans and their families in order to subsidize the extravagant lifestyles of millionaires, billionaires, and powerful corporations with a tax scam, they must be held accountable.”