2024

Guest Column: 2024 Candidates Should Protect Social Security

“South Carolinians have worked hard to earn their retirement benefits …”

by DAVID B. MOYE

South Carolina is front and center as the 2024 Republican presidential primary begins in earnest. Voters in the Palmetto State are eager to hear what solutions candidates have to issues like crime, border security, and Washington’s out-of-control spending as candidates begin to make the rounds at town halls, breakfasts, and other speaking events.

However, the biggest issue on voters’ minds is without a doubt Social Security, and if any Republican presidential hopeful wants to win over South Carolina voters, they’ll need to make it clear they plan to protect South Carolinians’ essential retirement benefits. 

I represent a city council district in West Columbia and many of my constituents are men and women who worked hard for many years, paid into the system, and rely on their Social Security. 

Protecting Social Security should be a major priority for Republican candidates making stops here. The majority of Republican voters are over the age of 40. Forty-six percent are over the age of 50, and 48 percent are 65 or older. Overall, 73 percent of self-identified Republicans support strengthening Social Security protections, meaning that any winning platform should emphasize keeping retirement benefits intact. 

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But some candidates, including our own former Governor Nikki Haley, have promised to take actions that would cut retirement benefits. Former Governor Haley has called for raising the retirement age, a position she’s doubled down on despite facing criticism. Likewise, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has, in the past, indicated that he would support privatizing Social Security. Recently, he said “changes” are needed to the program. Former Vice President Mike Pence has told news outlets that lawmakers should introduce so-called “common sense reforms” to Social Security. 

Former Governor Haley, former Governor Hutchinson, and former Vice President Pence will need to do better if they hope to gain traction with voters here in South Carolina. In the Palmetto State, more than 63,000 people rely on Social Security to receive retirement benefits, so pushing for cuts or changes to the program will not translate into a policy platform that resonates with voters, especially when so many of the voters depend on their retirement benefits to make ends meet.

Other candidates have wisely promised on the record to protect Social Security, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who backtracked from his previous support for cuts to the program. When a top candidate like Governor DeSantis adjusts his platform, it underscores the importance of protecting Social Security to primary voters in the Palmetto State and across the country.  South Carolinians have worked hard to earn their retirement benefits for decades, and the last thing we want to hear from a presidential contender is bad policy that could put our hard-earned money in jeopardy. Any candidate who hopes to one day lead this great nation should commit now to protecting our benefits if they wish for South Carolinians to take them seriously as contenders. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Provided)

David B. Moye is a West Columbia city councilman, real estate investor and broker, and a father. 

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3 comments

Frank July 6, 2023 at 6:37 pm

You cannot expect Republicans to protect Social Security and Medicare. They need to cut those programs so they can cut taxes on the richest Americans. For decades now the Republican Party has been cutting the taxes of the wealthiest Americans and the wealthiest corporation. The cuts have caused the annual deficits to surge. Trump ran the largest annual deficit in history, following his tax cuts, 95% of which went to the wealthiest 5% of Americans. So now they need to cut spending and so they turn to Social Security and Medicare to find money. They cannot raise taxes on their rich donors and they cannot cut defense spending, so they go after their Social Security and Medicare.

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Stu Wright Top fan July 7, 2023 at 8:18 am

Republicans have no intention of cutting Social Security. However if both parties really want to do something to help older Americans, they would abolish federal income tax on SS payments. For many it would mean an extra 150.00 to 200.00 a month and God knows with the way the government is spending now, the lose of that income would be miniscule. Cut some of the damn green energy bullcrap funding to make up the difference.

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Jack Hinson July 7, 2023 at 9:44 am

How can you say Republicans have no intention of cutting Social Security and Medicare? They have been trying to do exactly that since Paul Ryan was Speaker, and they keep bringing it up over and over. Of course, they plan to cut what they call ‘entitlements;” and they want to do it for the exact reason Frank said. To lower the deficits caused by their tax cuts. Tax cuts which were made at a time when corporations were already earning record profits; which were targeted to almost exclusively benefit the top 5% of Americans; and which those same Corporations then used to do stock buybacks, not to lower costs for consumers. A classic reverse Robin Hood.

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