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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 7 July 2018  

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  A vote for the GOP tax bill:
  a vote to cut Medicare and Social Security

   A month before Donald J. Trump decided to run, he tweeted, "I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid."
   
   Did you believe him? I did, or at least I wanted to.
   
   Now, with the passage of the Republican tax bill in the House and the release of the Senate's tax bill, Medicare is on the chopping block.
   
   How so?
   
   Here's how economist Bruce Bartlett, who served as President Ronald Reagan's domestic policy advisor and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for George H.W. Bush, put it on a cable news show on Nov 15.
   "It's very important for people to understand that the budget Republicans adopted a few weeks ago to permit them to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion also contained $4 trillion of cuts in Social Security and Medicare."
   
   How can that be? Social Security and Medicare aren't even mentioned in the budget resolution, nor in either tax bill.
   
   Bartlett clarified, ”Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office pointed out that because of an existing law called "PAYGO," automatic spending cuts will take place the minute this (tax) legislation takes effect; and $25 billion will be cut out of Medicare in fiscal 2018 and for many years to come, and that's already in law."
   
   A few days later, the Office of Management and Budget issued a letter backing Bartlett: the OMB "would be required to issue a sequestration order ... to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion. The PAYGO law limits reductions to Medicare to four percentage points (or roughly $25 billion for that year)."
   
   Over the next 10 years, the cuts to Medicare will total $400 billion.
   
   Think Donald J. Trump will save Medicare from these cuts? Unlikely, given his nominee to replace the disgraced Tom Price at the Department of Health and Human Services. His choice, Alex Azar, is a big pharma executive, who belongs to an organization that has advocated for the complete privatization of Medicare.
   
   You can bet that as the federal deficit grows in order to give tax cuts to the super wealthy, Republicans will soon call for cuts to Social Security. In fact, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has already started by calling for cuts to "entitlements" at a town hall event for Fox News Nov. 14. "Entitlements" is a just another word for Social Security.
   
   Colorado Sen. Corey Gardner intends to vote for the Republican tax plan. Only you can stop him.
   
   Kathleen Wallace
   Seattle
   Kathy also owns a home in Falcon and was a longtime resident of Falcon.
  
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