Saturday, May 29, 2010

Don’t Raid Social Security To Pay Down The Federal Debt

1223845413t9Pf22 There is no time to waste.  At this very moment, pressure is the highest it has been to solve the country’s debt crisis by tackling our entitlement programs… and making some very unpopular, very unfair spending decision under the guise of “fiscal responsibility.”

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare has fought hard –and won—against recent legislative proposals for entitlement commissions.  We strongly believe in “regular order” that keeps accountability for critical spending decisions on the shoulders of the legislative body –not a handful of appointees.

But with a commission created by Executive Order firmly in place, we urgently need everyone in the battle – to protect future benefits,which will also allow seniors to have enough money to eat.

And we’re in for a very tough battle, because … the call for entitlement spending cuts is now louder than ever, fueled by the highest federal debt in our nation’s history.  But here’s the fact that keeps getting pushed under the rug:  President Bush’s tax breaks for the wealthy—not Social Security and Medicare – jumpstarted the historic deficits that have since mushroomed in the wake of federal bailouts and economic recovery efforts.

And that is why one of our National Committee’s top priorities at the moment is to remind our fiscal commission leaders that retired Americans know the real score and will fight for what’s right.  While some say and think  there is not enough caring about preserving Social Security for future beneficiaries… that’s just not true.  After all, who would preserving these programs be for?

The National committee is the watchdog on guard to protect benefits for today’s retirees – your Social Security COLA, for example… but, millions of grassroots members and supporters also know how critically important Social Security and Medicare will be for our children and grandchildren.  Keeping this in mind, many Baby Boomers are approaching retirement with Social Security as their major –if not only –source of income.

For this reason amid others, that’s why many have rallied together to defeat harmful plans—including Social Security privatization –that threaten future benefits. 

The fiscal commission can not think for even one moment that retired Americans don’t care if they continue to raid the Social Security and Medicare “piggy bank” to pay down the federal debt!  If we don’t make ourselves heard and often throughout this process, there is no telling how deeply Social Security and Medicare might be impacted.

The President’s 18-member commission is tasked with slashing the current deficit down to 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) over the next five years.  Today it is more than triple that size, at 10.6%. That’s a lot of slashing left to do.

And while the National Committee supports this effort to return fiscal sanity to Washington, cutting Social Security is not the answer.  Social Security is not to blame.  Social Security is not to blame for the nation’s fiscal problems.  Indeed, its Trust Fund surplus has been used for years to help hide the true size of federal deficits!  Meanwhile, the fiscal commission’s recommendations for Social Security and Medicare spending are in development and due before Congress by December.

At this time of unprecedented federal debt, difficult decisions must and will be made.  And with growing numbers of Americans relying on these programs just to afford basic needs, it is up to every one of us to make sure that cutting Social Security and Medicare isn’t one of them.  Therefore, we don’t want a raid on Social Security to pay down the Federal Debt!!

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