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We can stop pretending. For months we’ve had to hear Paul Ryan and his pals on the right explain that they’re trying to “save” Medicare and Social Security as they pitched plans that would do the exact opposite.

Finally, thanks to the miracle of recorded sound and a campaign where candidates are forced to speak without a script, the truth is coming out. As Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler says, “Democrats support single-payer health care for seniors, Republicans don’t, and want to replace the existing system with something else entirely.”

For everyone who thought the GOP learned a lesson in 2005 when their plan to privatize Social Security was so roundly rejected by voters that it didn’t even get a vote, here are five Republicans who have admitted that their goal is to end the bedrock programs of the New Deal and the Great Society.

Who’s Better Than Tommy Thompson?

You may not remember this now, but former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson was seen as a lock in his race for the Wisconsin Senate seat against Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). Then he made one of the most baldfaced declarations of enmity for the current Medicare and Social Security systems ever caught on video. This clip, combined with Baldwin’s excellent speech at the Democratic National Convention, has sent the Democratic candidate into the lead.

Sunset Social Security

Linda McMahon, the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut, is so worried about Social Security that she thinks it should “sunset.” Because nothing would be more reassuring to 50-year-olds than knowing one bad Congress can void the Social Security they’ve been paying into for decades.

Social Security Is A Tax?

Think Todd Akin (R-MO) is only bad news for women? Then you don’t know about his extreme positions when it comes to earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare. He thinks both programs are unconstitutional. The congressman considers Social Security — which keeps millions of seniors out of poverty — a terrible investment. He believes that it should be privatized. But the American people have shown they have a way of shutting that kind of talk down.

Former GOP Presidential Nomination Frontrunner Thinks Medicare and Social Security Are Unconstitutional

It’s difficult to remember now, but for a few months Rick Perry was on track to be the GOP’s nominee in 2012. If only he’d skipped the debates… See, Perry thinks almost anything that helps Americans — including Medicare and Social Security — is unconstitutional. But what’s tragic is that didn’t lose because of these beliefs. He lost because he’s Rick Perry and he actually had a nearly humane policy when it comes to immigration.

Paul Ryan Calls Social Security ‘Socialism’

Paul Ryan is the Republican who made attacking Medicare and Social Security cool. Though he claims that he’s backed off the extreme Ayn Randian views he expressed in this 2005 speech, he proposed privatizing Social Security in 2011. And he’s still pushing a Medicare voucher system that would drive trillions to private insurers while raising costs.

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eff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Julie Green

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Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano has promoted and campaigned with Julie Green, a “prophet” who has claimed that God will execute political figures “for their planned pandemic, shortages, inflation, mandates and for stealing an election.” The Mastriano ally and fringe religious commentator has also alleged a variety of conspiracy theories, including that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “loves to drink the little children’s blood”; the government is conducting “human sacrifices” to stay in power; and President Joe Biden is secretly dead and an “actor” is playing him.

Green, who says she has a “special relationship” with Mastriano, has implicated numerous Republican figures as traitors, including Republican Governors Association co-chair and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. She has alleged that there will be a video showing that he took a bribe to swing the 2020 election and he “will be no more, and treason will be written on” him “for all eternity.”

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