U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), a hard core conservative, is calling for Congress to entirely revamp Social Security and Medicare, subjecting their budgets to being “evaluated” by lawmakers every year. Critics are blasting the Wisconsin GOP Senator, saying he thinks fellow far-right Republican Senator Rick Scott‘s plan on entitlements is “not cruel enough” and warning that Johnson “wants to steal your money.”
“Defense spending has always been discretionary,” Johnson told local Green Bay right wing radio host Joe Giganti on Tuesday (audio below), as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “VA spending is discretionary. What’s mandatory are things like Social Security and Medicare. If you qualify for the entitlement you just get it no matter what the cost.”
Johnson, a conspiracy theorist who has promoted false claims about COVID-19 and the 2020 election, complained that “our problem in this country is that more than 70 percent of our federal budget, of our federal spending, is all mandatory spending. It’s on automatic pilot. It never … you just don’t do proper oversight. You don’t get in there and fix the programs going bankrupt. It’s just on automatic pilot.”
“What we ought to be doing is we ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so that it’s all evaluated so that we can fix problems or fix programs that are broken that are going to be going bankrupt,” the Wisconsin Republican who is running for re-election this year claimed.
Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott published a GOP platform that decimates so-called entitlement programs that Americans pay into with every paycheck. His plan is so extreme Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to endorse any part of it.
Critics now are blasting Senator Johnson.
“Ron Johnson saw Rick Scott’s plan to require Congress to vote on keeping vs. destroying Social Security & Medicare every five years and said: Not cruel enough. We should subject Social Security & Medicare to congressional hostage taking EVERY SINGLE YEAR,” tweeted Social Security Works, a group that works to expand Social Security.
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, Democrat from Johnson’s home state of Wisconsin, said: “You know that money you’ve paid all your life out of your paycheck for Social Security & Medicare? @SenRonJohnson wants to steal your money and potentially cut benefits from both. That’s a more extreme position than almost anyone in the U.S. Senate.”
Johnson’s remarks were so extreme the White House is responding.
“Putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block is literally the only concrete economic idea I’ve heard from Republicans in Congress this year. Rick Scott, the RSC, Ron Johnson. But of course they’d never do it, like they’d never overturn Roe,” said Jesse Lee, a senior advisor to the National Economic Council. The NEC advises the president on economic policy, and is part of the White House.
Listen to Sen. Johnson’s remarks below or at this link:
NEW: On the The Regular Joe Show, Sen. Ron. Johnson (R-WI) argues for eliminating entitlements: “Social Security and Medicare, if you qualify, you just get it no matter what the cost… We ought to turn everything into discretionary spending so it’s all evaluated.” pic.twitter.com/bE1KUb6uJ5
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) August 2, 2022