Chris Wallace calls Ron Johnson’s Social Security, Medicare idea ‘suicidal politics’

Former longtime Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Sen. Ron Johnson's (R-Wis.) proposal to require Congress to approve Social Security and Medicare funding annually instead of automatically was "suicide politics."
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Johnson, who is up for re-election this year, said Wednesday on The Regular Joe Show podcast that mandatory spending on Social Security and Medicare should be switched to discretionary spending so "everything is evaluated."
Johnson argued that most of the federal budget is mandatory spending, so "it runs on autopilot" and proper oversight doesn't happen. He said if this continues, the country will continue to incur debt.
During an appearance on CNN's "New Day" Thursday, Wallace said that Johnson's idea would "get to the point" about cutting Social Security and Medicare, calling it "terrible politics" and warning of potential political ramifications.
He said Social Security is viewed as the "third rail" of American politics.
He said a "fundamental misconception" is that the programs are "free money" because people pay into Social Security and Medicare. He likened it to an insurance policy, where people pay premiums for coverage.
"Nobody would say that if the person who had the policy died, you weren't entitled to life insurance benefits," Wallace said.
American retirees receive Social Security benefits in monthly payments after they retire, and Medicare is health insurance available to Americans age 65 and older and people with disabilities. Employees fund these programs through taxes, and Social Security benefits are partially linked to an individual's monthly income.
Wallace said there were problems with Social Security, partly because people were living longer than when the system began in the 1930s. But he said it was wrong to portray it as a "claim".
A spokesman for Johnson told The Hill following the senator's comments that he was not proposing putting the programs "on the chopping block," but that fiscal discipline was needed to ensure seniors didn't have to question whether they could rely on the Duration of the programs can leave .
Wallace said Johnson's proposal takes him "further to extremes" as he runs for re-election.
The Democrats see Johnson's seat as a possible chance to catch up in the upcoming midterm elections. The race is expected to garner national attention and funding as November approaches.
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