MSNBC host Joy Reid and Representative Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) got into a heated on-air exchange Tuesday after Donalds pointed out that Social Security will become insolvent in the near future if current trends hold.
When Donalds raised the idea that the federal program will be “insolvent in 2035,” Reid interrupted saying that it was “not true” eleven times before changing the subject.
“Joy, I’m a finance professional. I do more than just Congress,” Donalds said during the tense exchange. “I’m telling you. [It] will go insolvent.”
According to research published by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a non-partisan policy organization, Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Insurance fund could be insolvent by 2034, with combined Social Security trust funds facing the same fate by 2035. To comply with existing laws in the event of insolvency, Social Security benefits would be trimmed by 20 percent, also prompting Medicare Hospital Insurance payments to face a 10 percent cut.
“Social Security is only 13 years from insolvency and Medicare is only 6 years. Policymakers need to get their heads out of the sand and stop pretending these vital programs’ funding issues will fix themselves,” CRFB president Maya MacGuineas stated following an analysis conducted in June 2022.
Later in the interview, Reid suggested that Republicans floated Donalds as a possible alternative to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy simply because of his race.
“It definitely looked like they were looking for a response to Hakeem Jeffries in you,” Reid contended. “Do you not believe that the idea was to make a diversity statement by nominating you?”
As Donalds tried to answer the question he was cut off again by Reid forcing him to ask her to “hold on” until he finished. “I’m trying to answer–Joy–will you let me answer your question or do you want to talk over me?” Donalds rejected Reid’s interpretation.
Donalds emerged as a dark horse candidate for the Speakership in early January as McCarthy struggled to cobble together the necessary votes through the early stages of voting. At one point, Donalds received 20 ballots from discontented House Republicans before McCarthy ultimately succeeded on the 15th round of voting.