As the field of Republican presidential candidates grows, their calls for deep cuts to our treasured Social Security system are only growing louder. Last week, Jeb Bush became the latest Republican presidential hopeful to call for raising the retirement age.
He joins a cast of candidates who want to means test, privatize, and make across the board cuts to our earned benefits. This despite the fact that 79 percent of likely voters–Democrats, Republicans, and Independents–support expanding our earned benefits!
We are up against candidates who throw around the word “bankrupt” as if Social Security didn’t have a surplus of $2.8 trillion, built up over decades by contributions from working Americans.
In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suggested a revolutionary idea for the presidential primary: let Democratic candidates debate these Republicans.
Let Senator Sanders show the American people the stark contrasts between Republican proposals of deep cuts for retirees, veterans, children, and disabled workers versus the ideas of Social Security champions who want to expand, not cut Social Security. (story continues after video)
Jeb Bush said on Social Security that, “we need to look over the horizon and begin to phase in, over an extended period of time, going from 65 to 68 or 70.”
Ted Cruz, R-Texas, recently endorsed George W. Bush’s model of gambling our retirement security on Wall Street: “I … think you’ve got to give George W. Bush some real credit-he showed remarkable courage … on Social Security reform and personal accounts. It was the right thing to do….”
Compare this with Bernie Sanders’ stance: “When the average Social Security benefit is $1,328 a month, and more than one-third of our senior citizens rely on Social Security for virtually all of their income, our job is to expand benefits, not cut them.”
Together, we are letting our elected officials in Washington and across the country know where the vast majority of Americans stand: expand, don’t cut Social Security!
Photo: Bernie Sanders. | Brett Carlsen/AP