xavier becerra social security

House Members Butt Heads Over Social Security’s Role in Debt Ceiling Talk

by Staff | July 8th, 2011

As potential cuts to Social Security remain on the table in the discussion about how to reduce the federal debt, members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee went head to head over the issue.

In his opening statement today, California representative Xavier Becerra argued to leave Social Security out of debt ceiling talks.

“Social Security has never contributed a dime to the nations $14.3 trillion debt, not a penny to our federal deficit or any year of our nation’s history, yet some in this town insist that we should cut Social Security benefits for seniors to pay for these deficits, deficits run up over the last 10 years principally as a consequence of fighting two unpaid for wars and giving unpaid for tax cuts to millionaires,” said Becerra. “Most Americans would say it is immoral and un-American for this Congress to tax Peter to pay for Paul’s sins, to make retirees, widows, disabled workers and children who rely on Social Security pay for the Bush debt. How can that be right?”

Several Congress members countered Becerra’s statement Friday.

North Dakota Representative Rick Berg said, “We have a lot of attention today because I think the president has recognized this as an issue that should be talked about, should be debated. Everybody I’ve talked to back in North Dakota is concerned about Social Security, and I think it’s been used as a political football by different people, different interests all along. Why are we in this debt crisis right now today? We’re in it because we’ve got 14.3 trillion in debt, and we don’t have any more money.”

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Would like to see Social Security cuts taken off the table as the federal deficit is debated?

If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

‘Let’s Raise Social Security Retirement Age to 69,’ Says Senator Hutchison

by Staff | June 17th, 2011

On Thursday Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced a proposal that she says would save $146 billion over the next decade and reduce the public debt by $7.2 trillion by 2085. Called the Defend and Save Social Security Act, Hutchison’s proposal seeks to change Social Security’s full retirement age to 69 and to cut beneficiaries’ cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) by one percent.

Hutchison is urging Vice President Joe Biden to consider her proposal as he works with a bipartisan committee to weigh options now that the federal debt ceiling has been reached.

“We cannot address our soaring deficits without reforming our broken entitlement programs,” Hutchison wrote in a letter to Biden that accompanied her proposal. “Social Security’s $6.5 trillion unfunded obligation must be resolved, and I strongly encourage you to focus on Social Security’s impending fiscal problems.”

Hutchison also suggests changing the early retirement age to 64 by 2023.

Earlier this year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Utah Senator Mike Lee, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham also issued a proposal to reform Social Security. Their plan would change Social Security’s full retirement age to 70 and early retirement age to 64, thereby reducing the public debt to $6.2 trillion by 2085.

Hutchison says she herself plans to retire from the Senate at the end of next year.

Hutchison’s proposal has already met with some fierce disapproval. Representative Xavier Becerra said in a statement yesterday, “Social Security has never added a dime to the deficits but Senator Hutchison’s plan would force massive benefit cuts on retired Americans in an effort to reduce the deficits … This plan to rip off Social Security to pay for the deficits on the backs of our seniors is reckless and irresponsible.”

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Do you the think the Social Security retirement age should be changed to 69? If not, what age do you you think it should be?

If you need help with your Social Security Disability benefits, contact the Social Security Disability lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.