Last Updated on January 18, 2020
Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden is facing harsh criticism from the progressive wing of his own party led by opponent Bernie Sanders for allegedly wanting to cut Social Security over the years.
Biden has been defending himself from the accusations in Iowa, but damage is being done. Unlike President Donald Trump, who campaigned on saving Social Security and Medicare while also cutting taxes (something he has so far accomplished), Biden’s record leaves little room for comfort for his supporters, many of whom view the pro-banker Delaware native as a relic of the aging neoliberal policy establishment.
“Joe Biden has repeatedly worked to cut Social Security, and has never offered up a good explanation for that crusade. His Social Security record is not only atrocious on a policy level, it is an enormous political vulnerability in both a primary and a general election,” Sirota said. “Bernie Sanders has exactly the opposite record — he’s fought those cuts and fought to expand Social Security, and that is a contrast Democratic voters deserve to know,” Bernie Sanders speechwriter David Sirota said in a statement.
Politico seems to be siding with Bernie on the merits of the argument, reporting: “It was in December 2010 that Sanders filibustered the Biden-negotiated deal with Republicans that extended Bush-era tax cuts, cut the estate tax, continued unemployment benefits and created a temporary Social Security payroll tax cut, or “tax holiday.” The deal was struck just a month after Republicans, in the words of President Obama, had just “shellacked” Democrats at the polls. Obama and Biden were facing reelection in less than two years; the president wanted to position himself as a reasonable centrist who was serious about deficit reduction…”
The Sanders camp is pushing hard, emboldened by the fact that Sanders is surging in the polls and has a real chance to defeat Biden in Iowa.