Democrats: Leave Social Security alone
Democrats are warning President Barack Obama that the fiscal commission he created to help solve the country’s budget problems needs to keep its hands off Social Security.
“You have charged the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with proposing recommendations that improve the long-term fiscal outlook and address the growth of entitlement spending. It is our view that Social Security — which is prohibited by law from adding to the national budget deficit — does not belong as part of those recommendations,” Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva wrote in the letter to Obama, which was signed by more than half of the Democratic Caucus, including many vulnerable members.
“If any of the commission’s recommendations cut or diminish Social Security in any way, we will stand firmly against them,” the Democrats said in the letter.
Social Security’s 57 million recipients benefit from the country’s largest entitlement program, which needs to be reformed to stay solvent for younger workers currently paying into the system. Democrats have been reiterating their support for the benefits with press releases and pledges. On Monday, many of the letter’s signees also signed a pledge that they wouldn’t raise the retirement age or privatize the program.
The commission must release a report by Dec. 1 on how the country can balance its budget by 2015. Both Democratic and Republican leaders have said that the program needs to be reformed to deal with national debt.