BY C. Douglas Golden, The Western JournalMarch 18, 2023
1 year ago
 | March 18, 2023
1 year ago

GOP Senator Fact Checks Biden Treasury Sec's Social Security Claim to Her Face - 'That's a Lie'

Biden administration Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen got a very public fact check on Thursday when she was called out in the midst of a Senate committee hearing.

According to TheBlaze, Louisiana GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy took Yellen to task over President Joe Biden's proposed $6.8 trillion budget, noting that the budget proposal does nothing to address potential insolvency issues involving Social Security.

And, despite the potential for insolvency issues, Cassidy noted that the president seemed supremely unconcerned about reaching a bipartisan solution considering he's refused to meet with a group of legislators in the upper chamber -- even though Yellen said Biden "stands ready to work with Congress."

During his questioning at the Senate Finance Committee hearing this past week, Cassidy noted that "the president keeps saying he does not wish to have cuts in Social Security," yet seems unaware that when the program goes "broke" in approximately nine years, that there will be a 24 percent  cut for those who are current recipients.

Yellen said the president wanted to "strengthen" Social Security, which led Cassidy to turn to his own budget proposal.

"In the $4.5 trillion of taxes the president has proposed, are any of those taxes going to shore up Social Security?" Cassidy said. "I actually know that answer ... of the $4.5 trillion in taxes he has proposed, not a dime is going to shore up Social Security."

Cassidy followed with a much simpler question.

"Why doesn't the president care?" Cassidy asked.

"He cares very deeply," Yellen responded.

"Then where is his plan?” Cassidy asked.

"He stands ready to work with Congress --" Yellen began, before Cassidy fired back with his fact-check.

"That's a lie!" Cassidy said.

"Because when a bipartisan group of senators has repeatedly requested to meet with him about Social [Security], so that someone who is a current beneficiary will not see her benefits cut by 24 percent, we have not heard anything on our request."

He added the group had "made multiple requests to meet with the president. Now you can’t comment on that. I realize that, but that is a fact," he said.

"If you’ve been told to say, 'He stands ready to meet' — I will tell you there's absolutely no evidence because we have not gotten our meeting."

While Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, said accusing Yellen of lying was "over the line," the Louisiana senator was polite but added the statement was still untrue.

These were hardly the only fireworks on Thursday's hearing, as GOP Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson hammered the administration on its seeming lack of concern regarding the state of Social Security and the amount of money being added to the debt -- in addition to the fact she didn't know basic figures off the top of her head.

"Are you concerned, when you take the debt from $32 to $50 trillion, are you concerned who's going to buy that debt and also at what rate?" Johnson asked Yellen. "They'll expect to be compensated for buying riskier and riskier debt. Are you concerned about that?"

Yellen was not, insisting that "if the real net interest cost of the debt remains low relative to GDP and we're on a sustainable fiscal" path, things would work out.

"Well, we're not on a sustainable path," Johnson responded. "Sen. Cassidy was talking about the president's demagoguery on Social Security, unwillingness to meet to try to save Social Security. If we do nothing and the Social Security trust fund runs out in 2023 to 2025, about the end of the budget period, are you concerned about -- are we going to have the financial wherewithal to plus up those promises? I mean, do you think we're going to, with $50 trillion in debt, a debt succeeding [sic] our GDP, aren't you concerned about our inability to honor those promises?"

No, of course not, and that's the problem.

The Biden administration talks a big game on Social Security, the same way it talks a big game on everything else. The problem is that it's just that: talk. Unless one is a motivational speaker, talk isn't money. Talk won't pay our bills. Talk doesn't make our debt manageable.

Talking to a bipartisan group of senators, perhaps, might get somewhere.

But, as Thursday demonstrated, don't expect that to happen anytime soon.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal



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