Democrats Roll Out SeniorScare™ Program - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Democrats Roll Out SeniorScare™ Program
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks about Democrats’ midterm prospects on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Oct. 23, 2022 (Face the Nation/YouTube)

Benjamin Franklin was a man of great wisdom, but he was mistaken when he opined that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Equally inevitable is the biennial Democratic attempt to frighten elderly voters by claiming the Republicans are plotting to destroy Social Security and Medicare. This year the Democrats are particularly desperate. Thus, they have been flogging this shopworn conspiracy theory even more frantically than usual as Nov. 8 draws nigh.

A typically mendacious example can be found in a recent tweet by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) in which she claimed, “Republicans plan to end Social Security if they take back the Senate. Washington seniors who have spent their lives paying into these programs deserve better—and I’ll keep fighting to make sure they get it.” The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler fact-checked this assertion and found it false. He awarded Sen. Murray four Pinocchios and added the following: “Don’t worry, seniors: There is no such plan.”

That hasn’t stopped Democrats from lying about it during debates. In the Oct. 6 debate between Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and his Republican challenger Blake Masters, the former alluded to the fictitious plot to privatize Social Security in his opening remarks. A few minutes later, he gratuitously included the same fable in an evasive answer about inflation. Nor is such demagoguery limited to endangered congressional Democrats. On Oct. 24, President Joe Biden stood before the cameras and described GOP intentions thus:

They’ve stated boldly that they want to cut Social Security and Medicare and — to the point that they’ll shut down the government, they say, and send the nation into default, which raises prices for everyone.… Republicans are determined to hold the economy hostage. Either give in to their demands on Social Security and Medicare, which millions of Americans rely on and earned and paid for, or Republicans are going to crash the economy.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi parroted this rubbish during an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation. She falsely claimed the GOP plans to make spending on these programs discretionary rather than mandatory and warned, “Social Security and Medicare are on the line.” Likewise, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Chair of the House Budget Committee, issued this statement: “Congressional Republicans are so hellbent on gutting Social Security and ending Medicare as we know it that they are willing to risk economic catastrophe to get it done.”

The weirdest deployment of SeniorScare™ occurred at the end of the Pennsylvania Senate debate between Dr. Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman. In the midst of the former’s closing statement, Fetterman shouted, “You want to cut Social Security!” This bizarre outburst was not merely a violation of the debate rules. The charge is utterly false. Yet the list of Democrats who have accused Republicans of plotting to destroy Social Security and Medicare is growing. It isn’t clear, however, that this will work in the current political cycle.

Seniors are among the hardest hit by inflation, as even CNN reports in an article titled, “Soaring inflation is throwing retirees’ budgets into chaos.” Moreover, it is unlikely that they will be mollified by the promise of a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that won’t appear in their bank accounts until next year. Nor is it probable that seniors will fall for the 11th-hour change in messaging advocated by a group of longtime Democratic strategists in an column published last week in the American Prospect:

There is not a reason in the world Democrats need to be defensive or mushy about their plan for inflation. The American Rescue Plan included the enhanced Child Tax Credit, tax relief for poor, working, and middle-class families. The Inflation Reduction Act will bring prices down for pharmaceutical drugs, health insurance premiums, and energy costs. The House passed an anti-price-gouging bill that all Republicans voted against.

With all due respect to these Solons, this is awful advice. It assumes that the voters are too stupid to understand how incompetent Congress and the White House have been on the economy. The “American Rescue Plan” isn’t something to boast about. It played a major role in igniting inflation. Likewise, the voters don’t believe the “Inflation Reduction Act” will reduce inflation. They know it is primarily a sop to the Climate Change cult, and that it is all but certain to exacerbate the wage-price spiral that is destroying the economy.

In the end, however, it doesn’t really matter how good or bad the advice is. The Democrats are determined to stick with scaremongering. Speaker Pelosi, President Biden, and the rest of the Democrats will continue to stoke as much fear as possible with mendacious claims about dark conspiracies to kill Social Security, fictitious threats to democracy, and the specter of a national abortion ban. But the voters want real solutions to real problems, and the Democrats have offered none. They are about to learn the electoral price of their negligence.

David Catron
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David Catron is a recovering health care consultant and frequent contributor to The American Spectator. You can follow him on Twitter at @Catronicus.
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