GOP attacks on Social Security make grassroots program a key midterm issue


On Wednesday, Social Security advocates applauded Democrats, including US President Joe Biden, for their defense of the popular program as Republicans recycle false claims that the nation will soon be unable to pay for program benefits. , making the monthly payments that help support more than 65 million Americans. a key issue ahead of the midterm elections.

“This November 8, our acquired benefits are at stake.”

In recent days, Biden has taken direct aim at Sens Republicans. Florida’s Rick Scott and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, who have both called for Social Security to be regularly scrutinized by Congress — something Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others are warning would inevitably lead to “cuts massive” benefits.

The “only election year plan the GOP has this year,” written by Scott, “would require Congress to vote on the future of Social Security every five years,” Biden said. Johnson, President added in another tweet, would put the program to an annual vote.

“Do you want to put your Social Security in the hands of Ted Cruz or Marjorie Taylor Greene?” the president asked last week on social media, referring to the Republican senator from Texas and congressman from Georgia.

Biden has also addressed the issue at recent rallies, urging Americans to support Democrats in November to protect the program.

Jon Bauman, chairman of the Social Security Works political action committee, said Wednesday that Democrats are “doing a pretty good job of pushing the Republican threat front and center on Social Security and Medicare. “.

The proposal Scott wrote earlier this year outlined Republicans’ plan for the country, including expiring “all federal legislation” after five years – a sweeping change that would exacerbate the wealth inequality crisis, with 55% of Americans aged 55 and over. are already living without retirement savings.

Republicans consistently spread misinformation about Social Security, saying the program was rapidly heading toward insolvency and needed to be privatized.

Blake Masters, a Republican Senate candidate from Arizona backed by former President Donald Trump, called the privatization of Social Security a “new and innovative idea” in June before admitting that the plan “would cut the grass under the feet of seniors”. A Masters representative, however, said BNC News this week that he plans to “incentivize future generations to save through private accounts.”

According to a report released in June by the board of directors of the Federal Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance and Disability Insurance Trust Funds, the program has a $2.85 trillion surplus, is fully funded to in 2035 and is 80% funded for the next 75 years.

Alongside Biden, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman denounced his Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz for expressing support for Scott’s “radical” plan.

In Wisconsin, Johnson’s proposal has drawn the ire of Democratic Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who is challenging the Republican for his Senate seat in November.

“We are fighting to protect our hard-earned benefits, the ones our parents and grandparents spent their whole lives contributing to, the ones that allow every Wisconsin resident to retire without putting food on the table or having to work. beyond retirement age,” Barnes said. BNC News affiliate WJFW In Monday. “We can do that by making sure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share into the system. We can’t allow Social Security to be cut.”

In stark contrast to the GOP proposals, more than 200 Democratic lawmakers have co-sponsored a plan proposed by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) called Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, which would increase benefits to make up for insufficient adjustments. to the cost of living since 1983, set the new minimum benefit at 25% above the poverty line and require the wealthiest workers to pay the same rate of social security contributions.

As Bauman has pledged to travel across the country and speak at more than 40 events for Democratic candidates this fall, Social Security Works summarized how “Social Security is on the ballot” during the November 8 midterm elections.

“This November 8,” said the group on Wednesday, “our earned benefits are at stake.”


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