If you watched a Republican debate or attended a Donald Trump rally, you would not think that Trump supports Social Security cuts. Indeed, his position on Social Security distinguished him from his Republican rivals and put him in the same camp as the 83 percent of Republicans who oppose cuts to Social Security. But, as I write in the Huffington Post, now that Trump has clinched the Republican nomination and needs support from the party, he is ready to dismantle Social Security and Medicare.
From Social Security’s birth in 1935, Republicans have opposed the program. They tried to persuade President Eisenhower to abolish it in 1953, but he would not do so. In a private letter, Eisenhower wrote to his brother about those wanting to kill Social Security: “Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Who knows where Trump will stand on Social Security in the coming months as he works to curry favor with the electorate. But, chances are, unfortunately, that if elected he will support Paul Ryan and the Congressional Republicans in their desire to dismantle Social Security.
In sharp contrast, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are on record as supporting an expansion of Social Security. And, the vast majority of Americans (72 percent) stand with them, along with 75 percent of House Democrats and 90 percent of Senate Democrats. They represent the interest of older adults and their families. This election, with a platform that supports expanding Social Security, the Democratic nominee is likely to get the older adult vote.
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