McHenry wants to end Social Security and Medicare.

Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry said out loud what most Republican only say in private. He wants to end Social Security and Medicare. He told Charlotte Observer political reporter Jim Morrill, “I would rather have complete control of the social safety net given to the states.” That would be the death of Social Security and Medicare because shifting the burden of caring for our retirees to the states would likely result in millions of more Americans dying in poverty. And the populations most affected would almost certainly be minorities and people with physical and mental disabilities. Social Security and Medicare work because the pool of people supporting them is so large. Placing the burden on states would no doubt result in unnecessary pain and an uncomfortably high increase in state taxes.

As we’ve seen in North Carolina and other Southern states, discrimination is alive and well. Democracy is not. Here, far-right Republicans carefully and methodically targeted African-Americans in a successful effort to keep them out of power. You can only imagine what they would do if hundreds of millions of dollars to provide a social safety net were at stake.

Numerous Republicans routinely deny they want to cut Social Security benefits or Medicare. These citizens call out Democrats’ warning about “Mediscare” but giving control of the safety net to the states would leave millions of people with fewer or no benefits. These members of the GOP want to reverse the programs of the New Deal and Great Society. They would take us back to a time when life expectancy for people who reached adulthood was about 65 years old and Jim Crow dominated the South. The people who need support would suffer the most.

Gina ColliasComment