FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21st, 2020
Contact: Linda Benesch, lbenesc
“Vice President Joe Biden recently claimed that the Bernie Sanders campaign ‘doctored’ a clip of a 2018 speech, to make it appear that he supports cutting Social Security. The truth is that the clip is in no way doctored.
Indeed, the full speech is worse than the clip, because it includes Biden saying that Social Security ‘needs adjustments.’ That’s well known DC insider speak for ‘cut benefits.’
Biden’s campaign now claims that the adjustments he had in mind were benefit expansions, but this explanation is not credible. When politicians want to expand Social Security, which is extremely popular, they say so. They don’t use euphemisms like ‘adjustments.’
Additionally, the 2018 speech must be viewed in the context of Biden’s 40 year record of being open to benefit cuts. At various times, he’s expressed openness to raising the retirement age, reducing cost-of-living adjustments, and means testing.
Now, Biden is running for president on a platform of expanding, not cutting, Social Security. This is both smart politics and wise policy, because the nation is facing a retirement income crisis. But Biden’s past record on Social Security, combined with his frequently expressed desire to work with Congressional Republicans, is still cause for concern.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he wants to work with the next Democratic President — on cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That begs the question: Is Biden’s newfound commitment to Social Security stronger than his desire for bipartisan dealmaking?”