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Statement on Proposed Debt Ceiling Deal

The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, on the proposed debt ceiling deal that Congress is expected to vote on later today:

Social Security

“The deal to raise the debt ceiling is a recipe to raid Social Security, and harm the economic security of American workers and their families.  We are pleased that the first set of spending cuts does not include cuts to Social Security, whose benefits are modest and whose administrative costs are less than a penny of every dollar of revenue.  At the same time, we are concerned about the impact of those cuts on the economy, and also at the lack of a jobs program and other spending that will put Americans back to work. 

“The best way to strengthen Social Security is a booming economy where high-paid workers are contributing every pay day to Social Security, and older workers do not lose their jobs, forcing them to retire early when they would prefer to keep working.

“We object to the proposed super Committee of Congress, which can recommend changes to Social Security that will have to be considered on a fast-track basis, without amendment and without the opportunity for unlimited debate in the Senate.  Social Security does not contribute a penny to the deficit.  It should be exempt from the jurisdiction of this super committee.  When a similar process was defeated two years ago, Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, argued that the proposed process placed a ‘big red target on Social Security and Medicare.’  This committee and process appear to have the same targets, and also Medicaid.

“These threats to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid could be avoided if revenues were raised, which is the preference of a substantial majority of the American public. Republicans in Congress have made a clear choice: they are standing with millionaires and billionaires rather than with average Americans who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“Rather than working out secret deals behind closed doors, the president and leaders in Congress should listen to the people they have been elected to represent.  The American people overwhelmingly do not want to see cuts in Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.  No cuts to these vital programs is the right policy, as well.”

 The Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of more than 320 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.