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Will Republicans cut Social Security? All the GOP proposals and ideas

Former Republican president Donald Trump who is running for office once again warned his party against cutting Social Security.

“Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security,” Trump said on the Truth Social platform in January.

During the Republican primary presidential debate on Wednesday, Social Security created a point of contention among the candidates.

Answering a question from NBC News moderator Kristen Welker who pointed out that in about a decade Americans could see their Social Security benefits severely reduced as the programs faced a funding crunch, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie suggested that the age of retirement should be increased and that wealthy folks should not be allowed to collect the benefits.

older couple check social security republicans
Stock images. Here’s what Republicans have said their plans are for the Social Security benefits.
Zinkevych/johavel/Getty Images

Nikki Haley

Meanwhile, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley said that dealing with the program was a “serious” part of running for president.

“Social security will go bankrupt in 10 years,” she said.

Haley suggested that for the current crop of retirees, promises made to that generation should be kept. But for her children in their 20s, their retirement age should be increased, the former South Carolina governor said.

Current policy stipulates that folks can start collecting their benefits from when they hit 62 years of age, though at a lower rate than they would after getting to the age of retirement at 67. The agency serves nearly 70 million Americans who depend on it for benefits that in 2023 totaled $1.4 trillion. In March, the Social Security Administration report suggested that the reserves would be depleted by 2034.

“Instead of cost of living increases, we should go to increases based on inflation,” Haley said and added that benefits to the wealthy should be limited. Haley declined to provide a new age for when candidates would qualify for the benefit under her plan suggesting that it would correlate with life expectancy.

Last week, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, the new nominee to serve atop the agency, said that he saw his role as providing policymakers with the best possible information to tackle the issue of the fund’s insolvency.

Tim Scott

‘Current South Carolina Senator Tim Scott suggested that growing the economy and cutting spending would generate revenue to add to the Social Security fund. He said no when asked if he would raise the retirement age.

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis alluded to the fact his state, popular with retirees, made him aware of how important the issue was to his constituencies.

“My grandmother lived til 91 and Social Security was her sole source of income and that’s true for a lot of seniors,” he said. He suggested that he would not raise the retirement age.

None of the candidates indicated they would make cuts to the program.

Mike Johnson

New Republican speaker Mike Johnson from Louisiana, as chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) from 2019 to 2021, a group which counts 176 legislators as members, had proposed budget programs that critics say will lead to cuts to the program, as Newsweek has reported.

The group in June, suggested some reforms to Social Security that included raising the retirement age to 69 years old for retirees hitting 62 years old by 2033, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Newsweek contacted Speaker Johnson’s office for comment via email.

Mitch McConnell

Earlier this year, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell distanced himself from Florida Senator Rick Scott who was accused by Democrats of suggesting that he wanted to sunset Social Security and other entitlement programs, according to Bloomberg. Scott has denied that was his plan.

In the past, McConnell had suggested reforms to entitlement programs, including Social Security, as Newsweek reported in 2018.

Newsweek contacted Senator McConnell’s office for comment via email.