“The financial conditions of the Social Security and Medicare programs remain challenging. Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative modifications if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.”
2011 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of Social Security and Medicare
TreasurySecretary Timothy Geithner (D), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (D), and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (D) all signed the above statement as part of their annual report. These members of the Obama administration are not “extreme members of Congress” or “radical Republicans.”
Below are from the issue statements related to Social Security and Medicare from various Congressional candidates in the 1st district in Washington:
Darcy Burner (D):
“Social Security and private pensions are promises made to working people for their retirement security. I will vigorously oppose any attempts to cut the Social Security or Medicare benefits that people have paid for, and I will fight against risky schemes that would destroy it, including privatization. I will also fight to ensure that employees get the pensions they have earned.”
“Every American should be able to go see a doctor when they need to. I support making Americans healthier and more economically secure, and strengthening Medicare, by allowing all Americans to buy into Medicare.”
Suzan DelBene (D):
“Extreme members of Congress …. are determined to gut Social Security, Medicare and balance the budget on the backs of the middle class.”
Laura Ruderman (D):
“You will hear me talk in this campaign about a simple promise we have made to the workers of America. A promise that I believe is under attack by the far-right who seem to want to help the people who are trying to game the system instead of the people who work every day for a living.
Here’s the promise. I believe if you show up and work hard, you should expect some basic things. You deserve a living wage. You deserve paid sick days. You deserve affordable health care.
Finally, you deserve to retire with dignity. You need to retire without fear that you won’t have a place to live, or be able to pay for medicine or have no place to turn when you get sick.
We must protect Medicare and Social Security for our seniors. We know that we will need to make tough choices to keep these programs solvent. But as President Obama has said, we can make responsible choices, and moral choices, that do not drive millions of seniors into poverty. The radical Republicans are on record in support of the Ryan plan to slash Medicare, and we will hold them accountable for that vote.”
Neither these three candidates nor the Obama administration have put forth a plan to deal with the unsustainability of Social Security and Medicare. So far, the other candidates have not even taken positions.
It would be positive for candidates for Congress to make proposals on how to deal with the issues outlined in the Board of Trustees report. Calling names without making concrete proposals yourself is normal campaigning, but we will be asking the candidates to make and defend a proposal.