President Donald Trump indicated on Wednesday that he may cut entitlement programs, including Medicare in order to reduce the national debt.

Asked in an interview with CNBC if he would ever consider cuts to entitlements, Trump answered yes.

“At some point they will be,” Trump said. “At the right time, we will take a look at that.”

Trump’s latest budget proposal called for a total of $1.9 trillion in cuts to mandatory safety-net programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. The proposal also called for cost savings of $26 billion on Social Security programs, including a $10 billion cut to the Social Security Disability Insurance program.


Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) criticized the president for using safety-net programs to pay for tax breaks for corporations.

“Trump gave the top 1% and powerful corporations huge tax breaks. He increased the deficit. Now he wants to cut your Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security to pay for it,” she wrote. “That’s just not right and it’s not fair.”

His proposal marks a shift from his position on cuts to safety-net programs during the 2016 election, in which he insisted he would not touch them.

In his formal 2016 campaign announcement he said: “Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it. Get rid of the fraud. Get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it.”

Thursday, Trump tried to walk back his comments.

“Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security,” Trump tweeted. “I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!”

The national debt has grown exponentially under Trump largely due to his tax cuts.

The federal budget deficit surpassed $1 trillion in 2019, according to the Treasury Department. It was the first calendar year since 2012 that the deficit topped that threshold.

The Treasury Department will begin issuing 20-year bonds to help finance the deficit.

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