Politics

Reid vows to stand in the way of any efforts to reform Social Security

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Chris Moody
Contributor

Any lawmaker who so much as thinks about tinkering with Social Security anytime in the next decade will have to go through Harry Reid (and a few of his friends) first.

A handful of liberal Democratic senators pushed back against calls from Republicans and even fellow Democrats to reform the national pension system during a rally on Capitol Hill Monday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada joined Sens. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, Bernie Sanders, Vermont independent, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, and Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat, at a “Hands Off Social Security” rally where all of them insisted that Social Security — the nation’s largest program that costs about $700 billion a year — adds nothing to the deficit or debt.

“Back off Social Security,” Reid told a cheering crowd. “It’s in great shape for many decades. Let’s worry about Social Security when it’s a problem. Today it is not a problem.”

“Social Security has nothing to do with reducing the deficit,” Franken added. “Social Security benefits should not be cut at all, for anyone, as part of efforts to reduce the deficit.”

The rally wouldn’t be the first time Reid held firm against efforts to change the program. Last fall, 11 senators signed a letter spearheaded by Sanders and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown to strike down any efforts to tinker with the program. More recently, the Senate majority leader said in an MSNBC interview earlier this month that he won’t be willing to examine ways to reform Social Security for “two decades.”

But not everyone in the Democratic caucus agrees that the program couldn’t use some improvement.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota said recently that the program “faces a long-term funding challenge,” and “the sooner we address these challenges, the better.”

“The American people say, don’t touch Social Security, don’t touch Medicare, don’t cut defense,” Conrad said in a recent interview with Christiane Amanpour on ABC’s “This Week.” “That’s 84 percent of the federal budget. If you can’t touch 84 percent of the federal budget — and, by the way, they also don’t want to touch revenue — you’re down to 16 percent of the budget at a time we’re borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend.”

Earlier this month, 32 Senate Democrats joined an equal number of Republicans in a letter sent to President Obama calling on him to consider including entitlement programs in plans to lower the federal government’s $1.4 trillion budget deficit. (The letter, which was signed by Franken, Harkin, Blumenthal, did not mention Social Security by name.)

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  • Bart1205

    It is true that SS is suppose to be neutral but the clowns in DC raided the trust found in order to use on their spending spree.

  • Kurtis D. Davis

    The Constitution of the United States of America also dies at Reid’s doorstep.

  • Sproing

    I don’t think you could find a rational educated person in this country regardless of party affiliation who doesn’t agree, when shown the economic and demographic facts, that we must re-think and re-negotiate all of the so-called entitlement programs we have so carelessly allowed to be enacted over the past 80 or so years. Even FDR realized that SS as he had set it up was unsustainable and would need re-working to remain solvent.

    Reid is either unequivocally a self-serving political idiot or he is playing a foolish game of partisan brinkmanship that will come back to bite him when he gets cornered and has to give ground or be unmasked.

  • HardRightTurn

    There is no such thing as a progressive obstructionist.
    Harry is such a dumbass he doesn’t realize the Republicans
    will be blamed for it if he lets them pass it. Or, on the
    other hand, is he afraid they will get credit for it?

  • Ryan.Iowa

    All the more reason to make Harry Reid a member of the Senate minority caucus after the 2012 elections. And when the Republican majority (along with a new Republican President) use either the nuclear option, or similar tactics that Reid used, to repeal Obamacare, the irony will be delicious!

  • brunnegd

    Management 101: The best way to fix a problem is to keep it from happening. Reid and the others did not take this class. Congress has been balancing the budget with the Social Security funds since the late 60s, and soon we all will pay for this foolishness.

  • bigdave

    I am sure this IDIOT will stand in the way of anyone who says “IMMIGRANTS AND ILLEGALS HAVE NO RIGHTS TO THIS FUND AND ALL PAYMENTS FROM THIS FUND TO THEM AND ANYONE ELSE WHO NEVER PAID A DIME INTO IT SHALL CEASE IMMEDIATELY”! Uh, are Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi one and the same?