aside House Speaker Paul Ryan’s 2018 Plans For Cutting Spending For Medicare/ Medicaid/ Social Security

Remember those college days when students studied Economics 101 by noted economist, John Kenneth Galbraith. Around 1962, he had opposed President John F. Kennedy’s plans to cut taxes with the warning that “Lower tax revenues will become a ceiling on spending.”

Republicans picked up this principle when in 1978, Republican economist Alan Greenspan told Congress, “The basic purpose of any tax cut program in today’s environment is to reduce the momentum of expenditure growth by restraining the amount of revenue available and trust that there is a political limit to deficit spending.”

What a perfect time to test this principle than in 2018, just after US Congressional republicans had passed their huge 2017 tax cuts bill where several credible tax analysts predict that this bill would most likely add $1 trillion dollars to the US deficit over 10 years. Even though, most congressional Democrats will join moderate Republicans to block any significant efforts to reduce the government’s safety net programs doesn’t mean that they haven’t been planning to act.

On December 6, 2017, The US House Speaker Paul Ryan shared his plans during an interview on the Ross Kaminsky radio show where he stated, “”We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit. … Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements – because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking.”


Here’s the rest of the story….

On December 6, 2017,  Jeff Stein of the Washington Post penned the following report,  “Paul Ryan: GOP will target welfare, Medicare, Medicaid spending in 2018.”


“House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both federal health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit.”

“We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit. … Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements – because that’s really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking,” Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show.”

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“Ryan said that he believes he has begun convincing President Donald Trump in their private conversations about the need to rein in Medicare, the federal health program that primarily insures the elderly. As a candidate, Trump vowed not to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. (Ryan also suggested congressional Republicans were unlikely to try changing Social Security because the rules of the Senate forbid changes to the program through reconciliation – the procedure the Senate can use to pass legislation with only 50 votes.)”

“I think the president is understanding that choice and competition works everywhere in health care, especially in Medicare,” Ryan said. “. . . This has been my big thing for many, many years. I think it’s the biggest entitlement we’ve got to reform.” 

“You also have to bring spending under control. And not discretionary spending. That isn’t the driver of our debt. The driver of our debt is the structure of Social Security and Medicare for future beneficiaries,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said last week.”

“While whipping votes for the tax bill, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, attacked “liberal programs” for the poor and said Congress needed to stop wasting Americans’ money.”

“We’re spending ourselves into bankruptcy,” Hatch said. “Now, let’s just be honest about it: We’re in trouble. This country is in deep debt. You don’t help the poor by not solving the problems of debt, and you don’t help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through.”

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“Trump has not clarified which specific programs would be affected by the proposed “welfare reform,” though congressional Republicans are signaling that they aim to impose work requirements on food stamps and direct cash assistance for the poor.”

“Liberals have alleged that the GOP will use higher deficits – in part caused by their tax bill – as a pretext to accomplish the long-held conservative policy objective of cutting government health-care and social-service spending, which the left believes would hit the poor the hardest.”

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“What’s coming next is all too predictable: The deficit hawks will come flying back after this bill becomes law,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the ranking Democrat on the finance committee, during a speech on the tax debate. “Republicans are already saying ‘entitlement reform’ and ‘welfare reform’ are next up on the docket. But nobody should be fooled – that’s just code for attacks on Medicaid, on Medicare, on Social Security, on anti-hunger programs.”

“On the Senate floor during the tax debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked Rubio and Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., to promise that Republicans would not advance cuts to Medicare and Social Security after their tax bill. Toomey said that there was “no secret plan” to do so, while Rubio said he opposed cuts to either program for current beneficiaries. However, neither closed the door to changing the programs for future beneficiaries.”

 “Many conservatives have long argued for cutting and changing social safety net programs, arguing that anti-poverty programs have failed and that Social Security spending is growing at an unsustainable rate.”

“Still, members of both parties have long been reluctant to cut benefits, especially for seniors, due in part to the potential political cost of doing so. And in discussing changes, Republicans, including Rubio, have largely confined their ideas to plans that would affect new beneficiaries, rather than current ones.”

“But it may be particularly difficult for Republicans to push those measures ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, in which many in swing states and districts face well-funded Democratic challengers hoping to ride an anti-Trump wave into office.”

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“Ryan said he’s optimistic, adding that Republicans could target the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid next year in addition to Medicare, despite their failure to repeal the health care law in 2017.”

“What it is we really need to convert our health care system to a patient-centered system so we have more choices and more competition. Choice and competition brings down prices and improves quality; government-run health care is the opposite of that,” Ryan said. ”

Related Article:

McConnell Says No to Ryan’s Dream of Cutting Entitlements – NYMag /12/21/17


  1. Gronda, even though we knew this was coming, it is just poor form. Cutting taxes to largely benefit corporations and the wealthy, adding $1.5 trillion to the debt, then saying we have to make spending cuts on programs for the majority of people. I recognize fully the need to make select changes to help with various spends, but the GOP is showing how cold-hearted they have become. This should come back to haunt them.

    Since I follow the debt closely, the tax cut was pure malfeasance in my book and comes on top of a percolating economy. This kind of measure is usually done when the economy needs help. So, we have made a projected $30 trillion problem closer to $32 trillion in 2027. My guess is it will be even worse.

    So, we do need some cuts to go along with revenue increases. Social Security is a good example as it is expected to be short in financing in the foreseeable future. There are three ideas that can help – one is to extend the taxable wage base to roughly $180,000 which will increase FICA tax revenue more than benefits. The others are to change the COLA calculation and extend Normal Retirement Age.

    Since we have punted for so long on the debt thanks to both parties lack of courage, we must make greater cuts than needed a few years ago, but the last thing we needed was to add to the debt as the GOP and Trump did last month making the problem worse. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      I am thinking that republicans have forgotten their fiduciary duty to their own constituents to where they will pay a steep price for their lack of competent stewardship.

      Speaker Paul Ryan is dooming the republican party for ages to come and rightfully so. You would never believe by watching him that he is a practicing Catholic.

      As per a 2012 Salon report, “Ryan, a staunch conservative and Roman Catholic, has drawn ire from followers of his own faith. While Catholicism emphasizes caring for the poor, Ryan’s proposed budget would cut many of the programs that do so.”

      “But Ryan seems to think his plan has a Catholic sensibility. Here, in a talk at Georgetown University captured by PBS, Ryan quoted Pope Benedict in an effort to drum up support for his budget. Father Thomas Reese of Woodstock Theological Seminary at Georgetown rebuked it, saying, “You can’t quote Pope Benedict to support
      this budget.”

      “In April, PICO founder Fr. John Baumann, S.J., called Ryan’s linking of his budget to Catholicism “the height of hypocrisy.” Also that month, US News reported that a group of faculty members and priests from Jesuit Georgetown University told Ryan his budget was more Ayn Rand than Jesus Christ.

      He is certainly not in step with the teachings of Pope Paul Francis.

      Mr Ryan has this thing for Ayn Rand.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      The only thing holding back republicans from ratcheting back spending on social security, Medicare and Medicaid is the upcoming 2018 mid term elections.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

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