In a recent interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Representative Steve Stivers, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee — in effect, the man charged with containing the blue wave — declared that, given the size of the budget deficit, the federal government needs to save money by cutting spending on social programs. When pressed about whether that included Social Security and Medicare, he admitted that it did.
And he’s not alone in seeing major cuts in core programs for older Americans as the next step if Republicans win in November. Many major figures in the G.O.P., including the departing speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, and multiple senators, have said the same thing. (Meanwhile, groups tied to Ryan have been running attack ads accusing Democrats of planning to cut Medicare funding — but hey, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. So, apparently, is honesty.)