Before Tax Vote, Sanders Calls Out Rubio for Wanting to Cut Social Security and Medicaid

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a hall-of-fame-level cretin, plans to vote on a tax bill that will redistribute billions of dollars from the poor to the rich, exacerbate the nation's terrifying problems with income inequality, and force more poor Americans into bankruptcy while cutting taxes for major corporations and conglomerates. Because Rubio is a monster, he also hinted earlier this week that he and his party aren't even done cutting benefits. In a speech two days ago, Rubio admitted that, once this tax abomination gets passed, the GOP plans to take a sledgehammer to social security and Medicare.

Rubio warned this week that, to prevent the deficit from exploding due to his own stupid tax-cut plan, his party knows some spending reductions will be necessary. "That will mean instituting structural changes to social security and Medicare for the future," Rubio said.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, America's loudest cheerleader for the social-welfare system, predictably blew a gasket when he read that quote and took some time out on the Senate floor to call out Rubio to his face. Sanders has been trying in vain to amend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to make it nearly impossible for Republicans to cut social-welfare programs to pay for a bunch of needless tax cuts for rich people.

Republicans have steadfastly pretended they don't plan to axe the welfare state to pay for the tax overhaul, but Sanders held up Rubio's own words as evidence that he and his party are preparing massive cuts to programs that help the poor.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you not say yesterday the Senate would not proceed to 'entitlement reform'?" Sanders asked angrily. Then he let a furious-looking Rubio respond.

"It would surprise my friend from Vermont to know in Florida we have a lot of people on social security," Rubio said. "One of them is my mother. If I could cut her Medicare or social security, I could probably never see her again or go home. So the answer to his question is no."

Importantly, he added, "I believe for future generations like myself, there need to be adjustments made —"
But Sanders, ever the curmudgeon, cut Rubio off and brought out some receipts.

"Let me quote you, let me quote you, let me quote you, Senator Rubio!" Sanders said. "This is a quote that you just made yesterday. And if I'm wrong, I apologize. But if I understand it, you spoke to a group of Wall Street lobbyists, and this is what you said."

He then read out Rubio's words:
"Let me help define what my Republican colleagues mean when we talk about structural changes to social security and Medicare," Sanders continued. "It will mean that at a time when senior citizens are splitting their pills in half, Republicans will go forward with massive cuts to Medicare."

He warned the changes could mean anything from benefit cuts to privatizing the Medicare system to forcing the elderly to retire later.

"When my Republican friends talk about 'saving' social security and Medicare, what they are talking about is cutting it," Sanders said.

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey sprang to Rubio's defense.

"There is no secret plan to do any of the above," Toomey claimed. Sanders then asked Toomey for a commitment that he wouldn't cut those programs. Toomey, predictably, couldn't do it.

"I am not going to support cuts to people who are on the program," Toomey said, dancing around giving a straight answer while Rubio sat behind him.

"There it is!" Sanders shouted. "Reclaiming my time! Excuse me, reclaiming my time. He just let the cat out of the box, or whatever the phrase is. He just said he's going to cut social security. That's it, my friends. What he just said — he will not cut if for people who are on social security right now. I hear that. But if you are 50 years of age, or you are 55 years of age, they just told you, my friend from Pennsylvania just told you, they may go forward to raising the retirement age, they may cut your cost-of-living adjustment. They just told you. So there is a plan."

It's not clear exactly when the Republicans will vote on their tax plan, but they're now confident they have the votes to do so. Rubio will certainly vote yes, helping to enact a plan that would hack taxes for everyone making more than $200,000 a year while doing virtually nothing for the working class in his home state.