This morning Representative Jan Schakowsky responded to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s statement that Social Security and Medicare “cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.” Schakowsky said,
“There are two stark visions of our country: One is Republican Leader Eric Cantor’s, in which millionaires and billionaires get massive tax breaks paid for by cutting Social Security and health care for seniors. Cantor’s vision is one in which those who have worked all their lives – who have paid into Social Security and Medicare in order to retire in dignity – would be forced to bear the burden of deficit reduction. … The choices are clear and I believe that the American public – like the Democrats in Congress – will fight as hard as possible to protect the American values represented in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”
On a press call this morning, Schakowsky was joined by Edward Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, Eric Kingson, Co-chair, Strengthen Social Security Campaign and Tom McMahon, executive director, Americans United for Change. Coyle said,
“Eric Cantor and others are saying that Social Security is to blame for our budget deficit. That’s pure fiction, and a sleight of hand that makes no mention of tax cuts for the wealthy or big corporations like GE that pay no taxes. It’s time to stop the lies.”
“Social Security belongs to the American people — not to politicians in Washington like Majority Leader Cantor. It belongs to the people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to the program. It should not be used as a piggy bank to provide tax cuts to the rich or bailouts to Wall Street. That may be who Majority Leader Cantor represents but it’s not the vast majority of the American people who depend on Social Security.”
“This was no slip of the tongue. We’ve long since suspected Eric Cantor’s true intentions of going down a path towards abolishing Social Security and Medicare as we know them — intentions that he may now regret saying out loud in public. … These privatization schemes embraced by Cantor and Ryan are designed to benefit Wall Street bankers at the same time slash guaranteed Social Security benefits and leave seniors on Medicare at the mercy of the private insurance industry.”
You can listen to Cantor’s comments during an NPR interview here.
** Campaign for America’s Future will be running ads targeting Cantor in his home district over his comments about Social Security. Click here to keep the ads going! **