Cantor is “Putting People On Notice” of Medicare and Social Security Cuts

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     Eric CantorWednesday, my Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced to the Wall Street Journal that he intends to cut the safety net as a means to balance the budget without raising taxes on the wealthy. One day after passage of the debt ceiling deficit bill which outlines $1.5 trillion in yet to be named cuts by the end of the year, Cantor made it clear that “promises have been made that frankly are not going to be kept for many.”

    Rep. Cantor’s desire to cut the safety net is nothing new. Cantor supported the Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a fee-for-service voucher program and noted that, “When we came out with our budget, we said, Look, let’s at least put people on notice, but preserve those who are 55 and older. The rest of us have got ample time to try and plan our lives so that we can adjust to reality here when you look at the numbers. Again the math doesn’t lie.”

    As a constituent of Rep. Cantor’s I take exception to my congressman saying that the majority of his constituents want cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Poll after poll suggests that people of all ages would like to see the wealthy pay their fair share instead of cutting Medicare and Social Security. Rep. Cantor’s remarks are just one more reminder that he and many of his colleagues in Washington are out of touch with their constituents.

    Rep. Cantor seems to have the absurd idea that those of us over the age of 55 have no concern about the retirement security of our children and grandchildren, so long as our benefits are not attacked this time around. I am not content to tell my children to “adjust” their lives to deal with the cuts to the safety net made by legislators who only represent the interests of the wealthy and corporations. Rep. Cantor said that “the math doesn’t lie,” yet he ignores the math that suggests that ending the Bush tax cuts, closing tax loopholes, and returning the tax rate to what it was under the Clinton administration, would eliminate the need to raid our safety net.

    On July 22, I joined a group of residents and physicians at Rep. Cantor’s Glen Allen office to protest his support of cuts to the safety net. With $1.5 trillion more in cuts yet to be named by a non-transparent, unaccountable, congressional “super committee,” the fight has just begun.

    Candace Graham is a member of Virginia Organizing’s Balance Virginia Budget and Revenue Committee. Graham, a Chesterfield resident, formerly worked in the banking industry and as an educator. She is currently an activist, homemaker and caregiver.

    • glennbear

      I am not sure exactly where his district is but the two wealthiest areas in the country are located in northern VA. Perhaps “his constituents” are those folks likely to see their taxes rise if congress does the right thing. Those same folks would rather have social security and Medicare disappear in lieu of higher taxes.  

    • NotJohnSMosby

      But they are not the first places to start to fix the structural budget problems.  The first place to start is sunsetting the Bush tax cuts.  The second is to cut out loopholes and subsidies.  That should suffice for the revenue enhancement portion of the problem as well as the relatively low-hanging budget fruit.  Then you go into Defense and other discretionary spending.

      Here’s what I don’t understand:  there’s all this screaming over entitlement reforms.  Can someone tell me how much debt has been racked up due to Medicare and Social Security deficits this year?  As in, are Medicare and Social Security digging into their trust funds – which is just Washington speak for general government deficit spending – or, at least for Social Security, is more money coming in than going out?  My point is that entitlement spending will, at this point, really add to the deficit in the future.  What is it doing right this minute?  I don’t think that Social Security – which has provided a current accounts profit for the government every year since it’s inception – has added to the deficit at all.  That is, unless you count the trust fund in the deficit totals, which most do.  But, in turning a profit that was used to pay for general government expenses, how is that Social Security’s fault?

    • truthteller

      that acting contrary to the fiduciary responsibility he has as a lawmaker to tear apart the social safety net and infrastructure, divest from the building of society, decimate our tax base and credit rating, and then say that the working & middle class will have to pay for it by lowering their expectations for retirement benefits is despicable and unacceptable!  

    • blue bronc

      I am wondering what Obama has to say. He already offered up the third rail to the R’s, will he stand with Can’t-or?