Joe Biden Did Support Cutting Social Security

Joe Biden

With the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Feb 3, the two top Democratic candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are trying to differentiate themselves from each other. The Sanders campaign released a video featuring the Former Vice President, where he can be heard saying he agreed with former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan when he said he we need to “reform Social Security.”

At a campaign event, Biden falsely accused the Sanders campaign of “doctoring a video” of him saying he agreed with Rep. Ryan; while the video was not doctored according to The Guardian, the former Vice President’s campaign has said the statement was taken out of context. The Biden campaign followed up with an ad accusing Sanders of being dishonest and attacking fellow democrats with lines like “Bernie’s negative attacks won’t change the truth” and “Bernie Sanders is going negative. Will Democrats hit back?”

The Sanders Campaign replied releasing an online ad of their own with the caption, “Let’s be honest Joe. One of us fought for decades to cut Social Security, and one of us didn’t. But don’t take it from me. Take it from you.” The ad then played audio of the former VP’s own words on Social Security where he can be heard saying, “when I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well.”

Both Presidential candidates have a record that spans over 30 years and shows that Joe Biden has fought to cut Social Security multiple times throughout his tenure in Washington, including during his time as Vice President.

The audio released by the Sanders campaign is just one example of Biden fighting to cut Social Security. The audio from the Sanders ad is from Jan. 1995, where the presidential candidate argued to freeze federal benefits including Social Security in an effort to balance the budget.

During an interview with “Meet The Press” during his 2008 Presidential campaign, Biden answered “absolutely” when asked if he would look at age availability and cost of living. While speaking to the Brookings Institution think tank in 2018, the former Vice President said “Paul Ryan was correct” when he said the first thing we need to go after is Social Security and Medicare saying, “that’s the only way we can find a way to pay for it.”

Biden’s history of trying to cut Social Security is more than words he said during speeches on the Senate floor. He has supported and helped craft legislation that would cut the program for seniors. During his time as Vice President, the Obama administration attempted to work with House Republicans in a so-called grand bargain which would raise taxes on the rich, but at the same time cut entitlements such as Social Security.

This bargain with Republicans is just one example of legislation supported by the former Senator from Delaware. In 1984 he backed a bill to freeze all federal spending for one year. In 1995 Biden supported a balanced budget amendment to the constitution that would severely cut Social Security. According to the Center for American Progress, under a balanced budget amendment, “Social Security and Medicare would not even be able to draw down their own trust funds.”

Biden has a long history of Social Security. In fact, his record has shown that he has been on the side of cutting Social Security for four decades.

Written by Jaylen Conwell.
Edited by Kimberley Spinney

Sources:

Center for American Progress: The Balanced Budget Amendment Threatens Americans’ Health Care, Social Security, and Jobs
The Intercept: Joe Biden Lied about his record on Social Security
Politico: Biden, Sanders trade shots over Social Security
The Guardian: Biden calls for Sanders to disown ‘doctored’ video on social security

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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