Proposals made by Vice President Joe Biden during the 1980s about Social Security, the nation’s debt and spending that echo GOP rivals Paul Ryan’s modern-day calls could see some fresh scrutiny tonight as the two men go head-to-head in their only debate.
As a senator who was increasingly concerned about the growing deficit under President Reagan, Biden called for across-the-board spending cuts that would affect Social Security and the military, as well as not raising the nation’s debt ceiling without simultaneously freezing the nation’s spending, according to an ABC News report published Thursday.
“Why do I believe we face such a major crisis?” Biden said on the floor of the Senate in 1984. “We have been running huge deficits for five years, and now we are clearly headed for continued huge deficits as far as the eye can see. We have emerged from what may have been the worst recession since the 1930s, but we have emerged with incredible economic weaknesses.”
All this may sound a little familiar to modern-day political observers. Paul Ryan gained prominence in the House because of his warnings about the nation’s debt and deficit, and is known for a budget proposal that would drastically cut federal spending.