Cue the riposte from the Twitter user Acyn, who shared 2010 video of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), then a candidate, saying his objective was “to phase out Social Security ― to pull it up by the roots and get rid of it.”
Hannity’s comment on Tuesday’s “Hannity” added to the conservative channel’s dismissal of Democratic Party concerns over the fate of Social Security as “scare tactics” before Tuesday’s midterm elections.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that congressional Republicans “have embraced plans to reduce federal spending on Social Security and Medicare, including cutting benefits for some retirees and raising the retirement age for both safety net programs.”
Some lawmakers have revealed a few specifics on the table if the GOP retakes the House, including raising the Social Security eligibility age to 70, requiring the elderly to pay increased premiums for health insurance, and imposing a strict government debt ceiling that could adversely impact entitlement programs, according to Bloomberg Government and the Times.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) has proposed sunsetting all federal spending legislation in five years, forcing a dysfunctional Congress to act if it wants to keep Social Security and Medicare.
President Joe Biden has used the developments to claim that Republicans are aiming to tear down Social Security, and the message has intensified as the election nears.
As for Utah’s Lee, who faces a reelection challenge from Democrat Evan McMullin, the incumbent denied ever saying he would seek the dismantling of Social Security despite the video evidence.
“I don’t recall ever having advocated for dismantling those — that’s sensitive stuff,” Lee told the Utah newspaper Daily Herald on Oct. 29. “I vaguely remember a time in 2010 when we were talking about a bunch of things. And it was talking about you know, we need to, we need to end this pattern of the federal government occupying space that it wasn’t intended to occupy and spending too much money. Perhaps that was close in time and in proximity to another conversation about Social Security.”