WASHINGTON – Earlier today, in a partisan speech at the National Press Club in Washington, Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland echoed tired attacks against Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal to save Social Security and Medicare. In response to these latest irresponsible scare tactics, Ryan issued the following statement:
“I invite my colleagues to join the effort to solve our most urgent fiscal and economic challenges facing our nation. I’ve introduced a plan that protects and preserves our health and retirement security programs for those in and near retirement, with reforms to save and strengthen these critical programs for future generations. We desperately need an adult conversation to fulfill the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans and lift the crushing burden of debt.
“Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – these sincere efforts are too often met with baseless partisan attacks from those in Washington committed to exacerbating our looming debt crisis. Congress produced no budget this year – an unprecedented failure, and Washington’s explosive growth of government spending failed to create the jobs promised, while trillion dollar deficits and the national debt spiral out of control.
“While my plan makes no changes for those 55 and over, those clinging to the unsustainable status quo remain intent on cutting benefits across the board by 22% for Americans when the Social Security Trust Funds are exhausted. When Americans between 55 and 62 years old today are in their 80s, the do-nothing plan would impose indiscriminate cuts in benefits for seniors of all income levels. We cannot afford the demagoguery against efforts to avert such painful austerity. We cannot afford Washington’s draconian do-nothing plan.
“As partisans ramp up their baseless attacks, I remain undeterred in advancing solutions and inviting those that disagree with my ideas to offer their own.”
Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin exposed President Obama’s irresponsible leadership in advancing Social Security scare tactics: “In a move as predictable as Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, Democrats are using Social Security scare tactics to gain ground before the November election. President Barack Obama is not only tolerating this classic old politics maneuver by his party — he is leading the charge.” (“Obama on Social Security: Ending Bipartisanship Hopes” – Mark Halperin, Time Magazine – August 23, 2010