September 21, 2012

28 Senators Sign Letter Opposing Social Security Cuts In Debt Deal

The Hill reports that 28 members of the Democratic caucus, including majority leader Harry Reid, have signed a letter in opposition to Social Security cuts as part of a deficit reduction plan. The letter was a product of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Typically I’m against pledges and pacts by elected officials because it locks them into a rigid ideology, but I agree with this letter of opposition, and the reason is Social Security does not contribute to the national deficit. The idea of including something that doesn’t contribute to the deficit in a deficit reduction plan is nonsense and it would only serve as a means for conservatives to begin to attack Social Security the same way they have Medicare. It’s a way for them to get their foot in the door and slowly begin chipping away at it, making it less effective, and ultimately setting it up for privatization.

“To be sure, Social Security has its own long-term challenges that will need to be addressed in the decades ahead. But the budget and Social Security are separate, and should be considered separately,” the letter states.

The letter was hailed by some groups representing senior citizens.

“Unlike Governor Mitt Romney, the senators who signed this letter understand that Social Security is earned through hard work and contributions; it is not a government handout,” said Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social Security Works. – Reid, Senate Dems oppose Social Security cuts in debt deal

Social Security has been around longer than most people living in this country. It has worked extremely well. Contrary to what you might hear in the media, there is nothing wrong with Social Security. It does not face any imminent financial danger. Throughout its entire life the program has released future projections of when the Social Security trust fund will be depleted. It’s standard practice. And so far, for over 70 years congress has done what is necessary to protect Social Security. That is exactly what these 28 Senators are doing. We need members of congress to strengthen Social Security, not weaken it.

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