May 11, 2011
The deficit reduction package that Congress is now hammering out won’t include cuts to Social Security, said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus.
On Tuesday, Baucus met for a second time with fellow members of a bipartisan committee that’s being led by Vice President Joe Biden. The group is working to bandage the federal budget before it reaches its debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion later this month.
Baucus, who leads the committee that has jurisdiction over Social Security, said that since Social Security hasn’t contributed to the financial pickle the U.S. is in, it shouldn’t suffer a budget cut.
“Social Security is a hugely successful program and a major force in ending widespread poverty among seniors,” said Baucus, a Montana senator. “Social Security benefits are the only source of income for many seniors in Montana and across the country who’ve worked hard all their lives as they fight to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. We will need to address Social Security funding in order to continue the long-term fiscal stability of the program, but Social Security is clearly not responsible for the deficits we face today and should not be part of our efforts to reduce those deficits.”
Social Security funds are forecasted to run out by 2037, at which point the government will either need to raise taxes or cut benefits by 25 percent. It’s a problem that Baucus says should be addressed in the next couple of years but not one that he considers a crisis.
Outside the Senate chamber on Tuesday, Baucus told reporters that progress was being made.
Do you think Social Security should be included in the deficit reduction package?
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