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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

 

A number of usually reliable reporters were duped by White House spin that President Donald Trump’s draconian budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 to slash spending for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was not a violation of his major campaign pledge to protect Social Security from cuts.

During his June 16, 2015, announcement to run for president, Trump clearly and unequivocally promised that if he was elected, he would “save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security without cuts.” Trump’s campaign declaration fit previous statements he made in the run-up to his announcement, wherein he claimed he was “the only [Republican] who won’t cut Social Security” and stated “I am going to save Social Security without any cuts.” Trump even hit then-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for copying his call to safeguard Social Security with “no cuts” and later reiterated his promise to “save” the program while attacking former presidential candidate and current member of Trump’s cabinet Ben Carson:


 

After Trump’s repeated statements that he would not cut Social Security, the White House’s decision to include significant cuts to SSDI in its 2018 budget request represents a broken campaign promise. Some journalists — including Washington Post reporter Philip Bump, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, and NBC News reporter Benjy Sarlin — caught on to what was actually being proposed, and Vox’s Dylan Matthewsstated that these cuts clearly break “a crucial campaign promise.” Yet, despite this, several other journalists fell for the White House’s misleading spin.

In the midst of an otherwise brutal recap of Trump’s budget, HuffPost reporter Arthur Delaney claimed “the document mostly honors Trump’s unorthodox campaign promise not to cut Social Security or Medicare” before actually quoting Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, as he expounded on proposed cuts to “disability insurance.”* In her write-up of the budget that detailed the profound impact it will have on low-income communities, New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor noted that Trump “would cut access to disability payments through Social Security” but casually added “the main function of Social Security — retirement income — would flow unimpeded.” New York Times reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis included similar misleading language in her report on the budget, arguing, “The blueprint also steers clear of changing Social Security’s retirement program or Medicare” and promoting the administration’s claim that Trump’s promise to protect “retirement” was intact.

Washington Post reporters Damian Paletta and Robert Costa also fell for the White House’s misdirection gambit, writing of the president’s campaign rhetoric: “Trump insisted that they could not cut retirement benefits for Social Security.” NPR reporter Scott Horsley also detailed the “significant cuts to social safety net programs” while promoting the Trump administration’s spin that the campaign promise was merely to “preserve” the “Social Security retirement program.” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan managed to write a review of Trump’s budget that committed both sins; first claiming that the Trump budget fulfilled “his campaign promise” not to touch Social Security and later claiming that it merely would not affect retirees**:

ORIGINAL: President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal on Tuesday won’t reform Social Security or Medicare — in line with his campaign promise — but it will make serious cuts to other entitlement programs. A source with direct knowledge tells me the Trump budget will save $1.7 trillion on the mandatory side over the next ten years.

CURRENT: President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal on Tuesday won’t cut Social Security payments to retirees or Medicare, but it will make serious cuts to other entitlement programs. A source with direct knowledge tells me the Trump budget will save $1.7 trillion on the mandatory side over the next ten years.

*The HuffPost report was corrected after pressure from readers and disability advocates to include the word “mostly.” The original post did not include that conditional language and incorrectly stated “the document honors Trump’s unorthodox campaign promise not to cut Social Security or Medicare.”

**The Axios report was changed after its initial publication but no editor’s note or correction was added to indicate the revision. Media Matters had criticized the original language of the article in a May 22 blog.

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9 responses to “Yes, Trump Budget Would Cut Social Security (And Violate His Promise)”

  1. bojimbo26 says:

    Roflmfao , Trumps ‘promises’ . Just to get votes , nothing else .

  2. FireBaron says:

    We can provide a list of people Teflon Donnie has stiffed over the past 40 years if you need any more proof of his promises being not worth the air he used in uttering them. Some of them are hard working individuals that he has stiffed for payment for services and goods rendered. In some cases, he even attempted to sue these people for damages, stating their claims against him were damaging his reputation! Some of them are employees he found one reason or another to not pay. Many of them were investors left holding the bag on four Corporate Bankruptcies.

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  3. Thoughtopsy says:

    LOL

    And this surprises no-one.

    • dpaano says:

      Well, it DOES surprise his core of elderly voters, but they haven’t seen the light yet…..it won’t be long.

  4. It should become clearer to those in Trumpville, America that anything issuing from Trump’s lips should be considered false. Having no moral compass, and only a begrudging connection with Religion, Trump has no concept of spiritual virtues such as honesty, trustworthiness, and nobility, and therefore finds it easy to say one thing to advance his personal agenda and then change what he said once the immediate goal is reached. Then the cycle repeats itself—promise something if given an inch, then take a mile once the inch is granted.

    Trump is a perfect example of what happens to humans once the desire to develop and cultivate spiritual values become merely a formality, to be discarded anytime one feels the urge to ignore morals and virtues. And with the relaxation of moral restraints by any of us, whether we profess a belief or not in God, the door is opened ever so slightly to allow an unfettered rein to “do what feels right”. Once that begins, the momentum just builds as a result of this relaxation of moral restraint.

    Personal and emotional discipline don’t kick in automatically on command when one has had little regard for developing spiritual virtues in the first place for most of one’s juvenile and adult stages of development.

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  6. johninPCFL says:

    Agent Orange promised to pay his workers, promised to pay his suppliers, promised to pay his subcontractors, only to abandon those “promises” when they were inconvenient. He promises anything to get the job, then bails when it best suits him. He is the consummate conservative man-child (con-man for short.)

    Fortunately, his budget is a worthless piece of butt-wipe rag. Congress actually spends the money through appropriations bills. Also, his poor attempt to steal from the poorest to pay for a great-big tax cut for himself has possibly eliminated the prospect of using “budget reconciliation” to force through changes to ACA, meaning that the entire Senate will be involved in the writing.

  7. dpaano says:

    Just one of MANY of his promises that he’s broken. I told his voters that they’d have better healthcare for less money with more services…..WRONG. He told them that he wouldn’t touch Social Security, but the SSDI is a big part of Social Security. Also, he’s cutting many very important programs….SNAP, Meals on Wheels, etc., all of which will affect many of the voters who voted for him.
    I wonder if they will now begin to see that they were conned! I’m sure some of them still won’t see the light until they no longer have a decent healthcare policy for “less money and more services.” OR, when they or their grandparents are thrown out of the “senior care” homes because Medicare won’t pay for them any longer….OR that the older voters, which are his core voters, will no longer have cost-effective healthcare and will have to pay more, have higher deductibles, and get less services! Should be interesting.

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