I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and his propensity for always being on the wrong side of issues. Indeed, I tend to think of him like Jim Cramer or Jen Rubin: they’re pretty much always wrong and you can bank on it.
So it’s perhaps remarkable and a bit like hell freezing over when Romney gets something right.
During the grilling of Shalanda Young, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Romney tried to call her out on the repeated lie by Joe Biden and the Democrats that Republicans wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare, asking her to about any such cuts. As we reported, Joe Biden even repeated this lie at his State of the Union address and was shouted at from the floor. But Romney wasn’t letting Young get away with the lie.
“You’ve heard of proposals from a current senator or congressman currently proposing to cut benefits to Social Security?” Romney asked Young several times.
“Yes. Have they changed their position? Maybe, but yes. Members who are current—” Young began as Romney interrupted, asking if the proposed cuts have been made in the last couple of months or the previous year.
“Current members have well-known policies out there to cut Social Security and Medicare,” Young attempted to say before Romney clapped back, saying, “that is simply wrong, and it’s not honest to say that to members of Congress. That is simply wrong.”
Romney also made a big point that is not being made enough in this back-and-forth on the issue: that while Joe Biden is screaming about Social Security and how much he wants to do to protect it, he’s not doing anything to protect it in his budget.
Romney asked her if she was aware that the “trust fund” was expected to run out and “benefits would be cut dramatically, like 25 percent.”
Young said that she was aware. So she admitted the truth.
“Well, why is it then that in the president’s budget, there’s no effort to address that whatsoever?” Romney pressed. And that’s the question that no one is seriously taking on, particularly not Biden or the Democrats. What’s going to happen when that hits? Where is the accounting for that?
Young tried to deflect from that question, back to attacking Republicans in the past who might have had “policies on websites” to cut Social Security.
But Romney wasn’t being put off.
“There’s nobody in this committee that wants to cut it,” Romney argued. “I know of no Republican or Democrat in the House or the Senate proposing cutting Social Security benefits, and it’s dishonest to keep saying it. It’s offensive and dishonest and not realistic…Why have you not proposed in your budget any action to protect Social Security?”
She said Joe Biden “believes the biggest threat to Social Security is those who want to cut it” and his “budget says no.”
So the biggest threat to social security to Joe Biden is something that no Republican is pushing? Indeed, as we’ve noted before, it’s Joe Biden who has truly been targeting Medicare Advantage which can affect 48 percent of the people eligible for Medicare. Young keeps trying to claim Republicans are the biggest threat. But this is Biden’s budget in question. Where in there is their effort to protect Social Security in that budget when they know that Social Security going to ultimately go run out? That’s the real threat, as Romney points out, they know it’s a threat yet they’re not addressing it and pushing imaginary things instead. This is an incredibly important issue to address now before it’s too late.
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