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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Republicans Want to "CUT" Social Security and Medicare not "Change" Them

Republicans Want to "CUT" Social Security and Medicare not "Change" Them

Thursday, 24 January 2013 05:02

A NYT article on the Republicans' latest plans in upcoming budget debates told readers:

"Republicans have made clear that they are willing to let the government shut down at that time to force deep spending cuts or changes to Medicare and Social Security that would bring down deficits in the long run."

The Republicans are interested in cutting these programs, that is how their plans would bring down deficits. While a "cut" can be termed a change, in the same way that a punch to a person's head can be described as a "change" in their circumstances, this is not the way such actions would typically be described.

It is understandable that the Republicans would prefer to use euphemisms to describe their plans for these very popular programs. However newspapers are supposed to try to convey information to readers. It is not their job to try to advance the agenda of a political party.


Comments (12)Add Comment
written by Wilhelm Zugzwang, January 24, 2013 8:00
Anyone recall ever reading an article where "tax cuts" were referred to as "tax changes"?
or, well
written by frankenduf, January 24, 2013 8:13
yo Kaiser- there are plenty of articles which call tax cuts "tax reform", usually in the context of making the tax system more regressive
written by Jennifer, January 24, 2013 8:33
Actually it would be more accurate to say the Republicans want the Democrats to cut Medicare and Social Security. During the fiscal cliff drama it was noted that the Republicans did not specify any cuts--they insisted the White House make them. Why? Well of course most of their voters don't want them cut either.
written by skeptonomist, January 24, 2013 8:37
The historical evidence is crystal clear - Republicans say they are in favor of overall spending cuts and "shrinking government" when Democrats control government, but when they are in control federal government spending has expanded. For example George Bush and Republicans expanded Medicare rather than cut it. Republicans do cut programs that are not universally popular, when they can.
Reform the Language from 'Cut' to 'Gut'
written by Last Mover, January 24, 2013 9:57
This would relieve media sock puppets from disguising motive and intent with waffle words like "cut or change".

Republicans want to gut SS and Medicare.
written by vorpal, January 24, 2013 10:53
Repubs want to cut money that goes to people, and jack up money that goes to corporations. Big gov't for corporations and little gov't for the people, that's their MO
written by vorpal, January 24, 2013 10:58
Repubs = none to the people, a lot to the corporations
Dems = some to the people, a lot to the corporations

I think that sums up American politics fairly well.
Social Security Has Nothing To Do With the Deficit
written by Robert Salzberg, January 24, 2013 1:20
Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit and NYT shouldn't have printed:

"deep spending cuts or changes to Medicare and Social Security that would bring down deficits in the long run."

unless it was a direct quote.
written by Ron Alley, January 24, 2013 3:16
You are correct. We should stop calling the parties by different names. They constitute the Corporate Party of America (CPA). The party formerly known as the Republican Party should be called the Right Wing of the CPA. The party formerly known as the Democratic Party should be called the Left Wing of the CPA.

President Obama has both the rhetorical and organizational skills to inspire a populist movement and occasionally he delivers a speech that creates hope that he will choose to lead a populist movement. But, he has no inclination whatsoever to inspire a populist movement.

The irony is that Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Rush Limbaugh have had greater success in leading the Tea Party. Many see the Tea Party as Astroturf, but it fields real candidates and inspires a significant number of voters to elect those candidates. It is much more populist than the Left Wing of the CPA.
written by Union Member, January 24, 2013 5:26
There should be an Aluminum Tubes Prize given out each year in journalism for reporting which, through false representation of the facts or the use deceptive language, most egregiously harms people.

It should not matter if the journalist gives attribution, or not.
The Democrats aren't much better ... if at all
written by Rachel, January 25, 2013 8:12

When was the last time a Democrat acknowledged that doctors (and some Northern California nurses) are overpaid? Who complains that we don't train enough doctors? Who worries about the way ERs are obliged to substitute for off-hours care? Who but Dean argues that if we want to improve competitiveness, we need to be able to import drugs and export surgery (or allow patients in need to take their Medicare dollars elsewhere). Who remembers that we've gone through a preposterous imaging boom, that we now have to pay for?

(To be fair, at least NYT and a few other papers covered the Radiation Boom, 70 million CT scans a year. LA Times suggests that they may causing over 14 thousand cases of cancer a year, many in children.)

And who talks about the growing problem of hospital chains? And who discusses reasonable ways of reducing administrative costs?

Well, there's a whole lot that Democrats, like Republicans, are unwilling to discuss.

Unfortunately, the Democrats only propose solutions that somehow always mean a lot of money and control for doctors and hospitals. And that means even less care, and much less control, for patients.
written by liberal, January 25, 2013 10:37
Rachel wrote,
Well, there's a whole lot that Democrats, like Republicans, are unwilling to discuss.

Great points. People act like insurance is the only problem, when in fact it's the health care industry itself (doctors, hospitals, pharma, device makers) that's probably the bigger problem.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.