January 27, 2020 In The News, Media

Senate Candidate Jason Lewis Embraces Cuts to Social Security and Medicaid

Lewis wants seniors to pay for his tax breaks for the rich and big corporations

Today, the Minnesota DFL sharply criticized Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis for asking seniors and low income Minnesotans to pay for his tax breaks for billionaires and big corporationsproving once again he will always side with special interests over the people of Minnesota. 

During a stop in Brainerd Thursday, Lewis took aim at Social Security and Medicaid just 24 hours after President Trump announced he plans to “look at” cuts to critical programs millions of Minnesotans and Americans rely on:

“Lewis iterated at multiple points that programs like Social Security and Medicaid have to be restructured and reformed to ensure they’re sustainable for the future. Included in the 2016 GOP tax bill was a $200 billion reduction in mandatory spending for entitlement programs* — a reduction Lewis lauded. He said this represents one direction the federal government should take to further curb unnecessary spending.”

Republicans across the country remained silent after President Trump’s threats to cut these programs last week. But Lewis–hand-picked by Trump to run for Senate in Minnesota–wasted no time embracing cuts to Social Security and Medicaid to address “unnecessary spending.” Lewis expressed no such reservations when he helped pass the Republican tax bill that will add almost $2 trillion to the debt,whose benefits largely went to the wealthy and big corporations, like Big Pharma and Wall Street — all while risking major cuts to programs like Social Security. Here in Minnesota, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that roughly 50% of the tax breaks Lewis passed went to the richest 5% of Minnesotans.

Ken Martin, Chairman of the Minnesota DFL, released the following statement:

“It is astonishing that Jason Lewis helped pass a tax break for the rich that blew a nearly $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit, and it’s even more astonishing that he wants to force Minnesota seniors and low income families pay for those tax breaks.”

“Seniors shouldn’t have to give up the benefits they earned and low income families shouldn’t have to give up their health care to fix Lewis’ mismanagement of our federal budget. I hesitate to suggest that Lewis go back to his career as a radio host, but that may be for the best if these cruel policies are all he has to offer Minnesotans.”

Cuts such as the ones proposed by Donald Trump and supported by Jason Lewis would have devastating effects for those who rely on Social Security to keep a roof over their heads. Among those aged 80 or older, Social Security provides the majority of income for 76 percent of beneficiaries and nearly all of the income for 47 percent of beneficiaries. In addition, Social Security lifts nearly 15 million elderly Americans out of poverty. 

Medicaid also is crucial to the well-being of America’s seniors. Medicaid is the primary payer for essential long-term services. An estimated 1 in 3 people who are 65 or older will need nursing home care, and nearly 2 in 3 nursing home residents receive care through Medicaid.

 

*the $200 billion reduction in mandatory spending for entitlement programs Lewis mentioned was part of the 2017 House budget resolution that was removed by the Senate.