Former House Speaker Paul Ryan recently accused President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump of risking national security and the financial health of the United States by not addressing changes to Medicare and Social Security.
A longstanding proponent of reforming both programs, Ryan introduced the idea of allowing taxpayers to invest their Social Security taxes into private investment accounts in his 2012 budget proposal, CNN reported. After facing fierce political opposition, Ryan ultimately revised his plan to align with then-President Barack Obama’s administration and its bipartisan fiscal commission.
Ryan still holds these suggestions to be necessary changes, and had fierce criticism of both Trump and President Biden’s handling of the issue, according to TMJ4.
“By demagoguing these issues, which I think both Trump and Biden are doing they’re forfeiting the leadership mantle,” Ryan said. “They’re playing politics with this issue.”
READ MORE: Army releases climate change plan: ‘Immediate threat to national security’
Ryan also accused both Biden and Trump of doing “the opposite of leadership.”
“They’re trying to scare people, and they’re playing political demagoguery with one of the most important issues facing our country this century,” Ryan said, according to The Washington Post.
In a recent interview with Fox 6, Ryan addressed concerns that cuts and revisions to Medicare and Social Security would lead people to believe they were losing these entitlements.
“Welcome to the story of my life and career in Congress,” Ryan said. “Every one of these proposals say don’t make changes to people who are in or near retirement presently. But, you need to make changes for those of us in the younger generation for two reasons: So that we don’t go bankrupt as a country, and these programs exist for them; but also, so you can cash flow the current promises to current seniors.”
“The dangerous rhetoric that we’re seeing right now in Washington by both Presidents Biden and Trump is this demagoguery saying don’t touch these programs. With that, the other way of saying that is: ‘Let them go bankrupt and watch current seniors get hurt.’ Remember, within a decade, both Medicare and Social Security go insolvent,” Ryan continued.
“So, that’s why we’re saying let’s get ahead of this problem. Let’s reform these programs so that they work better so that they’re solvent, so that we can keep the promises that have already been made to current seniors,” the former Speaker added. “The problem is that took me three or four sentences. It wasn’t as easy as demagogueing entitlement reform, which is what our current and former president are doing. It’s reckless. It’s the opposite of leadership. And my point is, we need to step ahead of this problem as a country, guarantee these benefits for current seniors and reform these programs, so they don’t go bankrupt.”