A new fact check from PolitiFact confirms that Don Bolduc supports ending Social Security and cutting trillions from Medicare.
According to the Politifact ruling, “Bolduc advocated for cutting $1.2 trillion for Medicare and in August 2022 he called for ‘getting government out’ of Medicare. In 2020 and again in October 2022, Bolduc advocated that future retirees transition from Social Security to private savings accounts,” which “reiterated [his] support for eventually changing Social Security to private investments accounts.”
Even though Bolduc has tried to run from his record of calling to end Social Security and Medicare, and even told WMUR that he “never said privatize Medicare,” PolitiFact noted that “Bolduc did say that.”
Read more from the report below:
Aiming to retain her congressional seat and keep Democrats in control of the Senate, Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., attacked her Republican opponent over two venerable safety net programs.
“Don Bolduc wants to cut trillions from Medicare and end Social Security. That’s not what New Hampshire needs,” reads the text of a Hassan ad on Facebook and Instagram.
Hassan made a similar attack against Bolduc, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, in other ads that include video clips of him saying “$1.2 trillion from Medicare, $2 trillion from Social Security.”
Hassan’s attack rests on Bolduc’s comments since 2020 about both programs. […]
“Cut trillions from Medicare”
To back this part of its claim, Hassan’s campaign cited comments Bolduc made in 2020 about his plan to reduce federal spending over a decade.
Bolduc, who sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire in 2020, told the Hillsborough County (N.H.) Republican Committee in May 2020 that one of his priorities would be reducing federal spending. Bolduc said he had a plan to reduce spending by $10.8 trillion over the following 10 years, including “$1.2 trillion from Medicare, $2 trillion from Social Security” and $4 trillion from Medicaid.
He did not detail how he would make those cuts.
Bolduc continued to call for big Medicare changes during his 2022 campaign. At an August town hall, Bolduc responded to a nurse’s Medicare and Medicaid question by saying, “The privatization is hugely important. Getting government out of it, getting government money with strings attached out of it.”
Politico obtained an audio recording of the town hall for its September report about Bolduc’s Medicare comments. […]
Bolduc addressed his August comments in two subsequent interviews.
Bolduc told WMUR-TV that he “never said privatize Medicare,” even though Bolduc did say that. “I said we need to look at solutions that make Medicare more patient-responsive.”
“End Social Security”
Bolduc talked about transitioning out of Social Security in the same May 2020 virtual meeting with local Republicans.
Bolduc proposed phasing in a new system for young people.
“We could build a flexible universal savings program for the younger generation that they take with them everywhere they go that has special protections, and that becomes theirs. And over time, we no longer have Social Security, we just have a different system that’s able to take the place of Social Security over time.”
Some conservatives have pushed for turning Social Security into a system in which workers invest at least some of their money to provide for retirement. Currently, Social Security benefits for today’s recipients come from the proceeds of payroll taxes paid by current workers.
According to audio and video clips cited by Hassan’s campaign, a man at one event asked how Bolduc would ensure that the man would receive his full Social Security benefits. Bolduc said “we need to invest in Social Security” for current recipients and those soon to be receiving Social Security, but for people who are now roughly 45 or 50 years or old or younger, “we’re going to develop a new program for you … because Social Security right now is not going to work for us.”
Bolduc also spoke about privatizing Social Security on Oct. 10, 2022, in an audio recording obtained by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do to protect it, get the money back into it and making sure nobody messes with it,” Bolduc said of Social Security.
Bolduc was then asked, “Do you think you could work with some senators to find a way to start the private investment accounts?” Bolduc answered, “That’s right, yeah.”
The Bolduc campaign denied to the newspaper that Bolduc had endorsed privatizing Social Security, calling it a “false attack” by Hassan.
Hassan said Bolduc “wants to cut trillions from Medicare and end Social Security.”
In 2020, Bolduc advocated for cutting $1.2 trillion for Medicare and in August 2022 he called for “getting government out” of Medicare. In 2020 and again in October 2022, Bolduc advocated that future retirees transition from Social Security to private savings accounts.
In September, Bolduc’s campaign told Politico that he no longer supports privatizing either program. But his October comments reiterated support for eventually changing Social Security to private investments accounts.
[…] but Bolduc has endorsed gradually ending Social Security by moving future retirees into private investment accounts.
With that clarification, we rate Hassan’s statement Mostly True.