Letters to the Editor: Republicans Plan to Shut Down Government in Bid to Cut Social Security, Medicare


Joe Kent, in his campaign for Congress, has consistently misrepresented the state of the economy, ignoring that Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan, which gave most of us $1,400 in tax free assistance, plus depositing $250 to $300 per child directly into parents’ checking accounts, to get us through the worst of the pandemic. This resulted in the creation of over 10 million jobs, and we now have an unemployment rate of 3.5%, with new unemployment claims at a 52-year low, and childhood poverty was cut by 40%.

The Congressional Budget Office said this “strong growth in economic activity” resulted in a deficit that was $360 billion less in 2021 than 2020. Joe Biden signed an executive order giving student debt relief to 20 million Americans, the first major infrastructure bill in decades, the CHIPS Act (which requires semiconductors be made in the United States, adding thousands of good paying jobs), and the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes historic provisions on climate change and the lowering of prescription drug prices, and which capped insulin costs for diabetics at $35 per month. Aside from the CHIPS Act, not one Republican voted for any of this, as it’s apparently much more important to deny Democrats a victory than to help the American people.

Donald Trump was right when he said, “It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” Under Clinton, 23 million new jobs were added. Obama inherited an economy hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs a month and left it with 76 straight months of job growth, and Biden is continuing in this tradition.

Inflation remains a problem, as it is in much of the world, for a variety of reasons. President Biden took steps to alleviate supply chain issues at ports, and he dipped into our oil reserves, resulting in over 100 days of price decreases at the pump. More to the point, the Republican Party has no real plan to address inflation. When Republicans like Sen. Joni Ernst and Rep. Andy Barr were asked in August what they’d do, their answers were so woefully lacking that it is obvious how little they have to offer. Well, Republicans do have one idea — they are planning to shut down the government in a bid to cut Social Security and Medicare, according to a report last week in Bloomberg Law. In the words of Matthew Gertz of Media Matters, “If Republicans regain control of Congress, they are planning to threaten a global financial meltdown if they don’t get their way on cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” That’s their plan to fight inflation.


Norm Hansen