Please Don’t Let Biden Cancel Social Security and Medicare Reform

Please Don’t Let Biden Cancel Social Security and Medicare Reform

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Joe Biden is facing a moral dilemma. Does he embrace politically unpopular reforms to Social Security and Medicare that will ensure their survival for future generations? Or does he, for short-term political gain, aggressively block any changes to these iconic retirement programs?

Democrats have worked hard and successfully to make Medicare and Social Security the “third rail” of American politics. Medicare and Social Security reform now have such a stink about them that Republican lawmakers shouted their outrage at allegations that they were threatening Social Security in President Biden’s State of the Union address.

The only current proposal, by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, would merely require periodically reviewing Social Security and other major programs to assure that they are functioning as intended…which happens to be virtually identical to a proposal advanced in 1975, and again in 1990, by a senator with the same name as the current president.

Demagogues on the left learned long ago that many seniors could be freaked out by baseless charges that “they’re trying to take away your Social Security” or “drive grandma over the cliff.”

Biden’s allegations that many Republicans “dream” of eliminating Social Security are deliberate lies. C’mon, man. We need to have an urgent, focused debate over Social Security and Medicare reform, but Biden has so toxified the issue that politicians seem frozen in place.

But there are reasons why we can’t allow these entitlements to be ruled out-of-bounds for serious debate and improvement. Social Security is a broken, outdated program that by 2034 will be unable to pay its promises. Medicare, according to its own trustees, will be insolvent by 2028.

The assumption has been that these programs, upon which so many seniors depend, will never be endangered. General tax revenues will come to the rescue. But the general fund is close to being tapped out.

America is an unbelievable $31 trillion in debt. Interest payments will soon exceed $1 trillion annually. We are already having trouble financing the basic functions of government, like the national defense.

Even the strongest line of credit in the world can be depleted eventually. If America goes bust, the chance to embrace the painful but necessary solutions available now will be gone.

The answer lies in understanding our history. Social Security was designed as a safety net for those who outlived their earning years. It was a government-administered insurance trust that all paid into to provide retirement income for those who needed it. Insurance 101.

But there was a fatal flaw in the program’s design. They neglected to protect it from the Swamp. The funds supposedly being held in trust were stolen (“borrowed”) so that government programs could grow without the inconvenience of raising taxes.

With nothing left in the trust fund for retirement benefits, Social Security was turned into a Ponzi scheme, where every dollar paid in went immediately out the door to fund current benefits. Like all Ponzi schemes, this one worked for a while.

In 1950, there were 16 workers to fund every retiree. Now there are less than three. By 2030, every Social Security recipient will be supported by just two workers.

We did our seniors no favor by forcing them to contribute to a “retirement fund” that was actually just another welfare program, thus depriving them of the substantial benefits of compound interest. Yet now Biden wants to pose as their champion.

“Let’s all agree to stand up for seniors,” he recently urged. Yet his brave agenda was to do…nothing. (This happens to also be the position of Donald Trump, another leader not there when most needed.)

Forget reform. All Social Security recipients recently got an unfunded benefit spike. Many Democrats want to put everyone on Medicare, the equivalent of loading more passengers onto a sinking ship. Brilliant!

This insanity must stop. In fact, it will stop because it’s unsustainable. There’s just the question of how much more misery we want to inflict on those who will inherit this hot mess.

There are plenty of promising solutions out there, which urgently need to be vetted and discussed. All roads to a prosperous future for America lead through Medicare and Social Security reform.

The worst option is to listen to President Biden and ignore the portents of disaster.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Republicans Need to Protect Arizona’s Citizens from Executive Overreach

Republicans Need to Protect Arizona’s Citizens from Executive Overreach

By the Arizona Free Enterprise Club |

Katie Hobbs certainly seems to like power. That’s probably why she was so giddy with laughter and excitement during her swearing-in ceremony last month. Now, she’s gotten to work. And despite her claims that Republicans and Democrats will have an open door to her office to get to work on bipartisan compromise, her preferred method appears to be executive action.

In just over a month since beginning her reign as governor, Hobbs has already signed seven executive orders. And there’s no sign that she’ll stop there. Her first executive order, prohibiting gender identity discrimination in state employment and contracts, was particularly eye-opening. Consider it a small taste of the woke agenda Hobbs is looking to implement over the next four years. And while it’s good to see that groups like the Arizona Freedom Caucus are planning to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such an order, it will take more than that to stop Hobbs from overstepping her authority…


Arizona Representatives Share Thoughts on Biden’s SOTU

Arizona Representatives Share Thoughts on Biden’s SOTU

By Daniel Stefanski |

President Joe Biden gave his second State of the Union (SOTU) address on Tuesday night in front of a packed U.S. House chamber and millions of viewers around the world. As is the case with most of these speeches, members of the president’s political party applauded his words, while members of the opposing party largely condemned his statements and policies.

It was no different with members of the Arizona Legislature – some of whom could very well be members of Congress in the future. Many Republican and Democratic state legislators were very active on Twitter before, during, and after the SOTU address.

Representative Matt Gress shared a clip from U.S. Representative Juan Ciscomani’s Spanish language Republican response to the nation following the president’s speech.

House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci retweeted a handful of posts reacting to President Biden’s statements, including his comments about an assault weapons ban, fentanyl, and Social Security.

Senate President Warren Petersen retweeted a post from U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which fact checked Biden’s actions to increase the U.S. deficit.

Representative Tim Dunn gave some SOTU feedback to President Biden on the border crisis: “Biden SOTU speech fails to address the emergency effecting the southern border. This can end by changing his policy. This allows fentanyl to come to your neighborhood. Secure the border protect our airways from China and open up oil exploration to curb inflation.”

Senator Wendy Rogers, in addition to retweeting other posts about the president’s comments, quote tweeted a post showing Bono and Paul Pelosi chatting at the State of the Union, saying, “This shows NO RESPECT for our sacred institutions… I do not allow this in my Arizona Senate committee.”

Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope also retweeted several tweets reacting to the president’s speech, and he added his own quote tweet to U.S. House Speaker McCarthy’s post of U.S. Representative Ciscomani’s Republican response, saying, “Thank you @SpeakerMcCarthy for choosing my friend @RepCiscomani to deliver the Spanish-language @GOP response to the #SOTU! The #AmericanDream is alive and well!”

Representative Jacqueline Parker quote tweeted U.S. Senator Rick Scott’s reaction to the SOTU, writing, “AZ & the federal government are like mirror images right now. The state of OUR state is worsening under Hobbs too. Our borders aren’t secure, school choice is under attack, families are suffering, & all Hobbs wants to do is spend more taxpayer money on big gov’t special interests.”

Representative David Livingston retweeted a number of posts reacting to the SOTU, including some by U.S. Representatives Jim Banks and Byron Donalds. He also shared an Axios story about Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ Republican response to the SOTU.

Representative Austin Smith had a one-word answer for President Biden when the @POTUS account tweeted about banning assault weapons: “No”

House Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham shared multiple SOTU tweets from other accounts, including from U.S. Representatives Andy Biggs and Tom Tiffany.

Representative Justin Heap retweeted a post from the National Republican Congressional Committee about U.S. Representative Ciscomani’s Republican response.

Senate Democratic Leader Raquel Terán tweeted, “@POTUS brought it all in for his (SOTU) address!”

Representative Consuelo Hernandez retweeted a post, which positively reacted to President Biden taking a moment to “acknowledge the fears of black parents & their children.”

Senator Christine Marsh retweeted a post from Martin Luther King III, which read, “We must continue working to bring an end to violence everywhere in this country. It’s why I’m continuing dad’s fight to eradicate the triple evils of poverty, racism, and violence.”

House Minority Leader Andrés Cano retweeted Biden’s @POTUS account, showing him shaking hands with Vice President Kamala Harris – and the caption, “What a night, VP.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

17 Terrorists Caught in December’s Illegal Immigrant Roundup

17 Terrorists Caught in December’s Illegal Immigrant Roundup

By Corinne Murdock |

Terrorists appear to be making the most of the ongoing border crisis, according to the latest illegal immigrant encounter data from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). 

Terror watchlist arrests have increased over sixfold since President Joe Biden took office. CBP apprehensions increased from 15 in the 2021 fiscal year to 98 in the 2022 fiscal year. Since October, there have been 38 arrests of illegal immigrants on the terror watchlist. From 2017 to 2021, four years, CBP only arrested 26 from the terror watchlist. 

CBP told Fox News that they estimate approximately 1.2 million “gotaways,” in addition to the over 4.6 million illegal immigrants that have been apprehended at the southern border. 

December’s total apprehensions nearly doubled last year’s record for that month; it also marked the highest single month of apprehensions on record.

Nearly 70 percent of the 2022 fiscal year illegal immigrants were single adults (nearly 64 percent in the 2021 fiscal year). Family units accounted for 23 percent of the 2022 fiscal year southwest border encounters. 

At this rate, there may be over 9.2 million illegal immigrants by the end of Biden’s first term.

The illegal immigrants aren’t the only increase in border activity since Biden took office. Drug trafficking has also reached historic highs.

The drug traffickers have gotten creative with their outsized shipments, disguising their cargo as commercial goods like rocks and cotton candy.

Harder drugs are taking precedence over others, as reflected by CBP drug seizure statistics. This includes fentanyl, meth, and cocaine. Marijuana dropped off in seizures around 2021. 

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Arizona last Thursday. Although Biden designated Harris as the “Border Czar,” Harris did not visit the border while in Arizona. Rather, the vice president came to the state to discuss “clean” energy. 

When asked why she and Biden weren’t taking more steps to secure the border, Harris said that Congress needed to act. Harris also indicated that it wasn’t important for her to visit the border during last Thursday’s trip, since she went in June 2021.

“The reality is, the people in Washington, D.C., the people who walk around the halls of Congress need to do something,” said Harris.

A week prior to her visit, Harris told reporters that the border was one of her highest priorities.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

A Modest Proposal To Control Illegal Immigration: Follow the Law

A Modest Proposal To Control Illegal Immigration: Follow the Law

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

Nobody seems to know what to do about our illegal immigration crisis. Somehow, no other nation in the world seems helpless to control unlimited, illegal immigration. Democrats alternately claim it is being handled, and that it is the fault of uncooperative Republicans, who in turn can only agree that “something” must be done.

It’s time for a Great Reset, to rethink the basics of how we treat illegal immigration. Here’s an idea: Follow The Law. Just Say No.

It starts with refuting the notion that noncitizens, who have followed none of our rules for legal entry, have a natural right to come here anyway, and we have a corresponding duty to oblige them. Like all other nations, we have no such moral burden.

We make an effort to prevent entry for some. But most immigrants, when they reach American soil, are meekly processed through and provided food, shelter, and transportation into our country, as if that doesn’t incentivize their coming.

Among other obfuscations, open border advocates claim our immigration laws need a complete overhaul to mitigate our ongoing catastrophe. Nobody ever specifies exactly what those new laws are.

Reforms initiated by Democrats when Biden took office included eliminating the Remain in Mexico policy, and anything else with the taint of Trump about them. Predictably, conditions at the border worsened. The only “solution” Democrats have any interest in is amnesty, which is no solution at all.

We have adequate laws in place. Illegal immigration is already illegal. We just need to execute those laws.

Today, the operating principle of our immigration policy is sanctioned asylum fraud. Instead of a good faith effort to legally control our borders, illegal immigrants are coached to state “I am in fear,” and we pretend to believe them.

But accepting the same lie millions of times is simple abuse of asylum. Asylum, unlike illegal immigration, is a compassionate process administered internationally to provide safe harbor to individuals suffering persecution, or a credible fear of persecution, due to one of five specific causes: race, religion, nationality, social group, or political standing.

Persons claiming asylum have their cases heard in court. If they prevail, they are granted “indefinite” asylum with the tacit understanding that the asylum lasts until the threat is removed.

That’s a far cry from the daily mobs at our border, who, understandably, for economic reasons, would rather live in the U.S. than in their home country. It would be wonderful if we could save every person in the world living in poverty by bringing them here, but that’s not the way it works in our world of corrupt socialist autocracies.

But we can, and are, making our own country less safe and free, less fit to be a beacon of liberty under law to others.

In spite of the fact that only a minuscule percentage of the millions of asylum claims made at the border are ever substantiated, border patrol agents are instructed to continue to process them as potential claims with a deferred court hearing and release into the U.S.

Although the asylum status claims at the border are transparently bogus, the scofflaws rarely face consequences for failure to appear at their subsequent hearing. They will eventually be offered amnesty, then citizenship, then registration as a Democrat, if all works as planned.

There’s a better way, simple and legal. We should require all asylum claims to be made in their home country. Refugee processing centers could be established in the common countries of origin, where applicants would have their status determined. Unaccompanied minors at the border would be sent home.

This would greatly benefit legitimate asylum seekers. They could be assured of their status before beginning the journey to safety. The rest could be politely turned away at the border as the law requires. Word would quickly spread that the rules have changed. The crowds at the border would soon dissipate.

Americans are beginning to appreciate the stress unlimited migration places on our education, medical, and judicial systems. Barring a major course correction, it is bound to get much worse.

But we can end the misery if we just have the will to do so. Follow The Law. What a concept!

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.