Donald Trump originally said that he wasn’t in favor of any cuts or reforms to Social Security and other entitlement programs, though he later came back and said that he might consider some. I suppose the Democrats needed a trump card for Trump if he wasn’t going to be enough of a hard liner on entitlement reform, so rather than opposing any cuts or reforms, they’re going to be hitting the trail to push for expansions. (The Hill)
Democrats are likely to step up their calls for expanding Social Security as the general election heats up.
President Obama recently garnered attention for calling for increased benefits. And advocates for expanding Social Security think the topic could be a good issue for Democrats as they try to unify the party behind presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and win over seniors, who are more likely to vote than other groups.
Polls over the past few years have shown that most Americans don’t support cuts to the program.
“In a lot of ways, there isn’t a more winning issue for Democrats than Social Security expansion,” said Rebecca Vallas, managing director of the Poverty to Prosperity program at the Center for American Progress.
The unfortunate part of this announcement is that the Democrats know where their sweet spot is on this subject and the numbers are on their side. The reality of the long term viability of Social Security and other government entitlement programs simply hasn’t sunk in for a significant majority of Americans. It’s sad to observe, but it really does seem as if most of the potential voter pool out there will be unwilling to consider any reform measures to increase the long term viability of these programs until they either completely collapse or cripple the rest of the government’s budget.
It’s not that they’re unaware of the problems. Recent polling shows that a majority of Americans are less than confident in the program’s ability to remain viable until they are ready to retire. But virtually the same amount of people oppose any changes to the system which might reduce any benefits, call for more contributions or delay the age where they can be accessed. This may be a march of the lemmings, but it’s a political winner in most cases so we shouldn’t be shocked that Clinton plans on hitting this hard in the general election.