When GOP Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Jeb Hensarling tried to blame the deficit on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on ABC’s This Week, they were met with an immediate eruption of facts from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Rep. Raul Grijalva.
HENSARLING: I give him an A for honesty, but an F for effort. You can’t get it done, George. You can’t take us off the road to bankruptcy unless you deal with the structural reforms to our entitlement spending, protecting current seniors, but helping ensure that my 10-year-old son and — my 10-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son that these programs are around for them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Senator Coburn, what about the point that Senator Stabenow made before, in the — President Obama’s health care act, $716 billion in Medicare savings, which a lot of Republicans — not you — but a lot of Republicans in the last campaign, including Governor Romney and his presidential campaign, ran against.
COBURN: Well — well, George, first of all, the $700 billion in savings doesn’t save the government a penny, because what it does is it takes that $700 billion and it spends it on other people. So what — it’s really important that people look — the government’s twice the size it was 11 years ago. We’ve all — we’ve seen the president demand that we’re going to solve 7 percent of this problem, but he’s totally inflexible on the other 93 percent.
It doesn’t really matter what happens at the end of this year, because ultimately the numbers and the bondholders throughout the world will determine what we’ll spend and what we won’t. So we can play the political game that is being played out in Washington right now or we can actually be absolutely honest with the American people and say, Medicare is going bankrupt, Social Security bankrupt — disability would be bankrupt in two years, Social Security trust fund will be bankrupt in five years, Social Security total will be bankrupt in probably 16, 17 years. Those are worst-case scenarios by the trustees of both those organizations.
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