Donald Trump’s two words that he hopes will get him back into the White House

Donald Trump
© AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Donald Trump has long complicated Republican politics. Now, the former president is confusing the GOP narrative on an important issue: whether Medicare and Social Security should be slashed.

Trump’s “attacks on potential GOP primary opponents, and his warning to party leaders to stay away from the popular entitlement programs in their push to cut spending, are cleaving Republicans at every level,” POLITICO reported. “Lawmakers who once backed entitlement overhauls are now openly at odds with colleagues who’d prefer to soften their positions before they face voters in 2024.”

Donald Trump Splits the GOP on Entitlements

The traditional Republican position on entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, was to shrink or cut them in order to reduce government expenditure, balance the budget, slash taxes, and so on. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has put a line in the sand, dividing the Republican Party into two camps when it comes to entitlements.

The conventional position favors reducing entitlements. And there is the Trump side, which purports to favor the preservation of benefits. To increase the divide between the two sides, Donald Trump did what he does best: he ridiculed the opposing side.

Trump specifically referred to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, as a “wheelchair over the cliff kind of guy.” Trump is pointing to DeSantis’ votes in Congress to progressively raise the required age for Medicare.

Trump has also chastised other potential 2024 opponents for similar entitlement stances. Trump criticized Nikki Haley, for example, for statements made 10 years ago that just considered cutting entitlements in order to keep the government small.

Donald Trump also blasted his former vice president, Mike Pence, for telling CNBC months ago that entitlements should be “on the table in the long term.” While Trump’s line drawing is politically beneficial to him, several Republicans are frustrated by the GOP’s casual split.

“It got [Trump] elected the first time, and I think it will get him elected the second time,” Senator Chuck Grassley, a traditional camp guy, said months back, “but it doesn’t do anything for our children and grandchildren that aren’t going to have a program that I’m enjoying right now.”

“We need an adult as president who is going to take on the tough challenges, the tough problems, and be prepared to share with the American people how serious it is. That we use facts. And not scare tactics,” Senator Mike Rounds, a member of the Senate’s working group on entitlements, said a few months back as well.

“I distinctly remember somebody basically ran a presidential campaign on this in 2012: the Paul Ryan budget, the austerity budget,” Senator Josh Hawley said. “I don’t recall that ticket performing very well. I personally don’t care to go back to that.” Senator J.D. Vance, a Trump endorsee, said that cutting entitlements would be “politically stupid.”

Is Donald Trump Authentic?

Trump talks a great game about protecting entitlements, but his actions show that he is eager to eliminate entitlement programs. Trump’s 2021 budget, for example, as has been noted in news reports, “sought steep safety net cuts, including tens of billions of dollars in reductions to Social Security benefits for disabled workers and Medicare changes designed to yield about $500 billion in savings without reducing benefits.”

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