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Christie Proposes Changes to Social Security and Medicare Eligibility

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is putting forth a different stance on entitlement program policy compared to other Republicans in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

During a conference hosted by conservative radio host Erick Erickson in Atlanta, Mr. Christie suggested that making changes to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare requires taking a “political risk.” He argued that these programs are running out of money and changes need to be made.

Mr. Christie criticized lawmakers in Congress, calling them “liars and cowards” for not being willing to address the issue. According to him, Medicare will go bankrupt in 10 years, while Social Security will face bankruptcy in 11 years.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the Social Security program’s trust fund will be exhausted by 2033, further emphasizing the need for eligibility requirement changes.

Mr. Christie proposed increasing the age eligibility for Social Security and Medicare as part of the solution. He believes that this conversation must be had and is disappointed that no other candidates are addressing the issue.

Entitlement programs, including Social Security, make up about half of the federal budget. Republicans have previously attempted to introduce changes, such as adding a privatized Medicare option and means-testing for Social Security benefits, but these were not included in the final product.

Mr. Christie’s vision for Social Security changes includes means-testing, which would limit benefits to those below a certain income threshold. He used Warren Buffett as an example, stating that someone like him does not need Social Security benefits.

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