In what has become an annual Washington exercise, Democrats and Republicans are waging a war of words over the president’s proposed budget and how it would affect programs for seniors. President Donald Trump tweeted that he “will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare” in the budget, while Democrats have charged it does exactly that.
Issues: spending cuts
GOP Medicaid Spin
Republicans are spinning their health care bills’ impact on Medicaid. Sen. Pat Toomey made the questionable claim that under the Senate bill “no one loses coverage” gained under the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway claimed there “are not cuts to Medicaid” in the bills that reduce future Medicaid spending by hundreds of billions.
Dueling Fiscal Cliff Deceptions
A fog of misinformation has settled on the fiscal cliff, as both House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have traded conflicting, misleading and false statements in recent days on the president’s deficit-reduction plan:
Geithner falsely claimed on “Fox News Sunday” that the president’s proposals to slow Medicare growth are “not shifting costs to seniors.” There are four proposals that would increase costs to some seniors by $32.9 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2017,
Biggest Budget Cut in U.S. History?
Democrats and Republicans alike are making grandiose — and unsupportable — claims that the budget deal contains the biggest spending cut in U.S. history.
Under the bipartisan agreement, the proposed budget for this fiscal year would be $38.5 billion less than last year’s budget. The federal government spent nearly $3.5 trillion in 2010, so the cut is a little more than 1 percent of total spending.
President Barack Obama called it "the biggest annual spending cut in history."
Making Ends Meet
Sen. Barack Obama has said several times that he has proposed cuts that pay for “every dime” of his spending proposals, a claim we’ve called “misleading.” The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis, for one, found that “without substantial cuts in government spending” Obama’s plan – and McCain’s, too – “would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.”
Obama repeated his claim in his half-hour commercial that aired Wednesday night on major networks and cable television,
McCain’s $6.8 Billion Boast
McCain repeated a questionable boast when he said, “I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion” by reining in a defense contract.
As we mentioned in our analysis of the first debate, there is more to the story. McCain certainly did lead a fight to kill the contract, and the effort ended in prison sentences for defense contractors. The contract is still up in the air, however, and questions have been raised about the role McCain played in helping a Boeing rival secure the new contract.