October 24, 2018
Watkins Wants To Cut Social Security Benefits, But “Has Provided Few Details” About His Plans
Topeka, KS – Said Kansas Democratic Party Spokesman Zach Helder, “Watkins has made a point of doubling down on his calls for cutting Social Security for seniors who have worked their whole lives to earn these retirement benefits. But he cares so little about the actual effects of his plan, that when pressed he’s evasive and vague about whose benefits will be cut and by how much. With Republican leadership calling for deep cuts to Social Security to pay for their tax giveaways to corporations, it seems Watkins is eager to approve whatever scheme they invent, no matter the details or damage to ordinary Kansans.”
This week, in an interview with Kansas Public Radio, Steve Watkins reiterated his stance that Social Security benefits should be means-tested. KPR’s Jim McLean noted however, that Watkins “has provided few details” as to whose benefits will be cut.
When pressed, Watkins said, “No, um, listen, there’s a few variables out there, we’ll do a deep dive, and, uh, take a close look.”
Without further explanation, key details with large implications for his would-be constituents remain a mystery– for instance, would Watkins endorse the kind of steep means-testing which would cut benefits for middle class Kansans?
In an interview with the Lawrence Journal-World published last week, Steve Watkins said he was open to privatizing Social Security. Policy analysts have long acknowledged that privatization of the program would lead to massive transition costs, including cuts to benefits that seniors have worked their whole lives to earn.
His statements come just as Republican leaders are dodging responsibility for the deficit ballooning after the GOP’s tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. In the same year that they authorized $2 trillion in deficit spending for their tax scam, they are calling for deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Based on his comments, it appears Watkins would be an eager rubber stamp for dismantling these critical programs.