A number of right-wing politicians and corporate CEOs are demanding that Congress and the President agree to cuts to Social Security along with reductions in the corporate tax rate as part of a “Grand Bargain.”
These conservatives who are making this demand should heed the words of their icon, former President Ronald Reagan. In the 1984 presidential debate, Reagan — the most right-wing president in his generation — debunked the lie that Social Security adds to the debt:
REAGAN: Social Security, let’s lay it to rest once in for all…Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing the budget or erasing or lowering the deficit.
Want to help fight for a progressive approach to the deficit that doesn’t involve cutting Social Security?
Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has an alternative, truly “balanced approach” to tackling the deficit. During a campaign debate last month, she laid out a popular vision for dealing with the deficit: cut back on wasteful military and agriculture subsidy spending, and make the rich pay their fair share with higher tax rates. Watch Warren explain: