And, where is he?
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On Thursday, Donald Trump released a new policy outline with proposals for reforming the Social Security system that were not part of his previous proposals. While the details of each of Trump’s plans remain unclear, the policy document focuses on a number of proposals—including a plan to privatize Social Security—that have been floated in the past.
The Trump plan, which will go into effect in January, is aimed at reducing federal spending for Social Security and reducing payments that retirees receive through Medicare. Trump’s plan says that “over and above these changes, we are proposing to greatly strengthen our national security by increasing America’s military capacity to deter and defeat any adversary in history.” Trump is calling for an increase of the U.S. military budget and increases in military spending.
According to his campaign website, Trump is proposing a two-percentage point increase in military spending, which would cost $68.6 billion over a 10-year period. Trump would also end Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, raise out-of-pocket payment amounts on Medicare beneficiaries, and impose a 20 percent tax on income that people over the age of 65 would earn. Trump’s plan also calls for cutting the Social Security Disability Insurance program by $800 billion over the next 10 years.
The American public is divided on the question of whether these proposals are sensible priorities for the country. While a majority of Americans favor cuts to Social Security, the public is divided on whether it would do so. While 59 percent say they would like to reduce the number of Social Security recipients by closing Social Security’s retirement age, only 34 percent of respondents say that they would like to cut Social Security benefits by reducing benefits. Another 21 percent say they would like to raise the retirement age for recipients, while another 24 percent prefer an expansion of Social Security benefits. Only 6 percent of Americans say they would prefer to eliminate Social Security altogether.
The policy outline comes after weeks of speculation following Trump’s controversial statement on the Orlando terrorist attack, which President Obama and Republicans have seized upon as a way to discredit the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. During that remarks, Trump said “some of the people that are following me are the very, very angry people that you saw last night in Florida,” a remark Trump later clarified was in response to a protestor’s suggestion that the president could have stopped the Orlando attack, had he been in the room.
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