Biden, Trump clash on social welfare

Biden, Trump clash on social welfare
Biden, Trump clash on social welfare

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Joe Biden clashed with rival Donald Trump over health care and social benefits yesterday as the US president visited another battleground state in November’s election. — AFP pic

WASHINGTON, March 12 — Joe Biden clashed with rival Donald Trump over health care and social benefits yesterday as the US president visited another battleground state in November’s election.

Republican former president Trump, who is seeking a historic comeback to the White House, said in an interview on Monday that he would back cuts to social spending.

“There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements in terms of cutting,” property tycoon Trump, 77, told CNBC.

He was asked about the possibility of cuts to the three pillars of US social welfare: Medicare, which provides health care for seniors; Medicaid, which gives health care for the less-well off; and Social Security, which gives welfare for seniors and the disabled.

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Democrat Biden, 81, hit right back in an event in the northeastern state of New Hampshire, accusing Trump of backing measures that would favour wealthy Americans.

“The bottom line is, he’s still at it,” said Biden.

“I’m never gonna allow that to happen. I won’t cut Social Security, I won’t cut Medicare.”

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Biden’s comments came after he published an ambitious 2025 budget proposal full of populist measures, including a tax hike on billionaires and plans to strengthen social spending programmes.

The budget is almost certain to be dead on arrival in the sharply divided US Congress but was designed to highlight his policy differences ahead of his likely rematch with Trump.

In New Hampshire, Biden accused Trump of wanting to cut taxes on the rich and said his own economic and social policies had sparked an “American comeback.”

“I believe we’re moving into a future where health care is a right, not a privilege in America,” said Biden.

Less than eight months out from the November 5 election, Biden and Trump have gone into full battle mode after they both dominated their parties’ “Super Tuesday” primaries last week.

The Democrat is now embarking on a tour of battleground states, riding the momentum from a fiery and well received State of the Union speech on Thursday that zeroed in on Trump.

Biden branded Trump a threat to democracy, referring to the ex-president’s refusal to acknowledge his 2020 election defeat and the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump supporters.

Impeached twice while in office, Trump now faces four criminal indictments, including two for trying to overturn the election result four years ago. — AFP

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