Ross: Biden shoots down Social Security cuts in tactical maneuver

Feb 8, 2023, 7:57 AM | Updated: 11:18 am


President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

For a senior citizen, Joe Biden can be pretty sneaky.

I’m talking about the moment in the State of the Union speech where he said that some Republicans were talking about cutting Social Security.

More from Dave Ross: New criminal pursuit technology means no ‘Get Out of Jail Free’

“Instead of making the wealthy pay their fair share some Republicans, some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to sunset,” Biden said. “I’m not saying it’s the majority. Anybody who doubts it, contact my office. I’ll give you a copy.”

Well, I remember that proposal; it was from Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida. It was one of those trial balloons that members of Congress sometimes release over American territory – a proposal to sunset all federal programs after five years, including Social Security and Medicare – so that they could be re-evaluated.

But he withdrew that quite a while ago. When he was asked about it on CNN last October, here’s how the conversation went.

“It’s a simple yes or no. Do Republicans want to cut Medicare and or Social Security?” CNN correspondent Dana Bash said.

“Absolutely not. What I want to do is make sure we live within our means and make sure we preserve those programs people paid into them,” Sen. Scott said. “They believe in them. I believe in them. I’m going to fight like hell to make sure we preserve Medicare and Social Security.”

“Do you support raising the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security?” Bash asked.

‘No,” Scott responded.

“Do you support cutting back on Medicare benefits or reducing Social Security payments in order to keep the program solvent?” Bash asked.

“No, and I don’t know one Republican that does,” Sen. Scott said.

So basically, he backed away from the “sunset” idea about four months ago.

Which is why the Republicans protested last night when Biden brought it up. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia even yelled out, “liar!”

But Biden ran with it anyway – and I think he may have done Republicans a favor. Because how many Americans do you think heard Senator Scott shoot down his own trial balloon on CNN last October? Very few.

But last night, America saw every Republican shouting down the notion that they would even think of withholding one penny of anybody’s Social Security.

“I’m not saying that the majority of you, I don’t even think it’s even significant number of you,” Biden responded to the chaos.

He backpedals a little bit, but Republicans wanted to make it clear there is no one in the Republican party – not one who, even in their wildest fantasy – who would even hint at entertaining even a fleeting thought of touching Social Security.

“So folks, as we all apparently agreed, Social Security and Medicare are off the books now. We got unanimity,” Biden concluded.

Both parties then rose in a standing ovation.

And that, my fellow Americans, is how Joe Biden sent yet another balloon plummeting into the ocean. And wherever that trial balloon came from, we can now be sure it did not come from Republican territory.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

KIRO Newsradio Opinion


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Gee goes off on kids who don’t call or text their parents back

Gee goes off on kids not texting their parents back! We’ve also heard of some new phone etiquette rules, which are: 1) Text before you call 2) Don’t bother with voicemail, just send a text 3) Don’t get upset if someone doesn’t pick up your call. 4) Facts are for texts, emotions are for calls. […]

15 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Why are electric scooters being banned from Tacoma and is Seattle next?

Tacoma will be banning electric rental scooters, will this come to Seattle next? How do we feel about electric scooters?

19 hours ago

baby plane...

Dave Ross

Ross: Planes are noisy, so are babies; what’s the big deal?

The issue of airborne babies keeps coming up, and as far as I can tell, the reason it keeps coming up is that reporters find themselves near a baby on a plane

20 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Should babies be banned from some commercial flights?

Ursula joins Seattles Morning News to ask, should we ban babies form some flights? There is already an airline in Europe that has floated this idea, but could something like this be feasible in the US?

2 days ago

retail theft...

Dave Ross

Ross: Seattle has a serious problem, not enough castles

I’m just back from a tour of Eastern Canada, and of course, when you visit other cities, you compare them with your own.

2 days ago

Image: A photo from Seattle's Southpaw Barbershop (Photo courtesy of Tommy Andrade via KIRO Newsrad...

Jake Skorheim

Skorheim: Ex-Tesla engineer becomes barber who cuts foster kids’ hair for free

I recently had Tommy Andrade on KIRO Nights to chat about something very unique he and his co-owner have started doing at Southpaw Barber Shop in Seattle.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Ross: Biden shoots down Social Security cuts in tactical maneuver