Hanging out with all the international obscenely rich at Davos this week most have rubbed off on Donald Trump, making him think he’s invincible. Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen that cutting social insurance programs (entitlements, in CNBC-speak) is “actually the easiest of all things.” At least, that appears to be the kernel of the thought contained in a torrent of seemingly unconnected words with which he answered the question, “Entitlements ever be on your plate?”
“At some point they will be,” he said. “This next year I—it’ll be toward the end of the year. […] At the right time, we will take a look at that,” Trump said. “You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look.” Later on he added, “Well, we’re going—we’re going to look. We also have—assets that we’ve never had. I mean, we’ve never had growth like this.” He says that “the growth is going to be incredible” and that “We also have assets that we’ve never had. […] Look, our country is the hottest in the world. We have the hottest economy in the world.” So he’s in Davos, where everyone is talking economics (supposedly), so his needle seems to be stuck in that groove. But since this is the guy who has reportedly yukked it up with Republican senators over how much fun it would be to cut Medicare in his second term, this story can’t be discounted. No matter how incoherent he is.
A second-term Trump, however, would feel absolutely invincible. He absolutely would go after Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And if Mitch McConnell is still Senate majority leader, Trump will have an absolutely committed partner in that. Since he got the tax scam passed, McConnell has beaten the drum about needing to cut the programs because the tax cuts he rammed through are costing too much. (Half the point of the tax cuts, by the way, was providing an excuse for attacking these programs again.)