Ron DeSantis talks ‘deaths of despair’ while addressing entitlement crisis

DeSantis immigration copy
'The average life expectancy is going down.'

Ron DeSantis weighed in on declining American life expectancy during a discussion of his Social Security position, ascribing it to “deaths of despair.”

During an interview Monday, the Florida Governor told CNBC viewers that “in the last five or six years, life expectancy in the United States has gone down.”

He did not blame it solely on the COVID-19 pandemic, even after his interviewer’s prompting.

“I think it started before COVID and I think it’s continued even here afterwards. I think it’s more than, more than just COVID. I mean, I think that there’s deaths of despair. I think you have (drugs),” DeSantis said.

“So, I think it’s hard to say, you know, raise the age (for Social Security eligibility) when the average life expectancy is going down. We used to think that life expectancy was just going to keep going up and that’s just not been the case.”

DeSantis’ position on senior citizen entitlements has been a moving target in recent months, as he has been walking back previous calls for “market forces” and privatization to replace the current programs.

The Governor clarified that the status quo would remain “for the elderly or people near retirement” during the segment, noting that longevity runs in his family.

“My grandmother lived until (the age of) 91,” DeSantis said, noting that Social Security was her “sole source of income.”

“There’s millions and millions of seniors out there where that’s (their) sole source in an inflationary era,” DeSantis added. “That’s really problematic because they do get a (cost-of-living adjustment) but the COLA is not enough.”

DeSantis has said before that changes for younger generations are inevitable, noting he doesn’t expect to draw the entitlement without material changes in federal practices.

“I think a lot of younger people like me are receptive to this because I don’t assume we’re going to get any of this at this point right now,” the 44-year-old Republican said during a May interview with John Stossel.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • MH/Duuuval

    August 14, 2023 at 7:44 pm

    Typical Ron: sic et non.

    COVID, suicides, gun violence, and hard drugs = shorter life span, so who will ask to raise age for SS?

    Answer: Republicans.

    • Silly Wabbit

      August 15, 2023 at 10:15 am

      They kwazy.

  • PeterH

    August 14, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    Obesity, drug abuse, excessive firearms and COVID has had absolutely no impact on USA life expectancy?!?!?


  • Terri

    August 14, 2023 at 8:52 pm

    So he’s saying age expectations are going down so raise the age and you have to pay almost nothing because most will die before they can collect. Karma is a bitch!

  • Michael K

    August 14, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Easy for a guy living in public housing and eligible for fat federal and state pensions to say. He’s a grifter and a liar and will cut your SS and Medicare with Rick Scott at his side. It’s been the Republican fever dream along with the destruction of public education. Trust his as far as you can throw him.

  • Mark miller

    August 15, 2023 at 6:22 am

    Hey Ron, capone got his, gotti got his, trump is getting his and guess what, your turn is coming. It’s called justice.

  • Dont Say FLA

    August 15, 2023 at 10:09 am

    One word, Rhonda: GUNS

  • TJC

    August 15, 2023 at 10:15 am

    Listening to windbag Ron, with the realization that he’s going to be Governor for three more years, is enough to make anyone fall into despair.

  • Tom

    August 15, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Death by despair sounds like Rhonda’s new campaign slogan. I think never back down is on its last legs.

  • MH/Duuuval

    August 15, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Let’s don’t give in to defeatism just yet: the world turns.

Comments are closed.


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