We’re working with some of the best state-level bloggers from around the country to help us tell the truth about key economic and social policy issues, and to draw the contrast between the rhetoric of the right and the progressive alternative. Please visit our CAF State Blogger Network page to see more.
Ohio Republican Bob Gibbs has been taking some serious heat these days. He’s a steadfast supporter of dangerous trade policies. He’s angering members of the NRA for implying their endorsement in robocalls. But the heat Gibbs should be taking on his multiple positions on Social Security is worst of all.
For months, Gibbs has been trying to have it both ways, claiming on his website that he’s committed to Social Security, but then in public, heaping praise on Minority Leader John Boehner’s recent suggestion that the retirement age be raised to 70.
This summer, Gibbs was caught trying to spin in two directions at once saying : “Our younger folks in their 20s and 30s, they think their retirement age is going to move up, I think they expect that,” said Gibbs. “We’re living longer, our life expectancies are going up, and you just can’t have an actuarially sound system if you don’t make these changes or you’re not going to have a system at all.”
Gibbs made it worse a few months later when he said he doubts he would have supported Social Security when it was introduced in the 1930s.
In speech after speech, Gibbs has been a walking contradiction. However, on the Democratic side, Congressman Zack Space has been a strong advocate for protecting Social Security. In only his first term, Space has been a leader to ensure the program started 75 years ago will be here for generations to come.
Today, Space wrote a piece on a coming vote to increase SSA payments as a cost-of-living increase. The fact that there is even a discussion on this point borders on the absurd.
I believe strongly that, in terms of economic development, we absolutely should be encouraging private funding — but Social Security is a sacred trust: our workers must not have those benefits subject to the whims of the stock market. Social Security must be safe and reliable. Had those wrong-headed Members of Congress succeeded in their plan to put seniors’ retirement savings in the stock market, those savings would have been part of the stock market’s nosedive, forcing thousands of retirees to go back to work and leaving retirees fearful about how their savings would last them for the rest of their lives.
Apparently, many legislators still haven’t gotten the message. They have plans to undercut seniors’ benefits and raise the retirement age to 70.
Maybe they simply don’t understand how important Social Security is to Ohio’s seniors.
So do we.