This weekend on Meet the Press, Republican Leader John Boehner reiterated his support for making deep cuts in Social Security. South Carolina Democrats met the assertions with criticism, calling on Second District Congressman Joe Wilson to denounce Boehner’s plan to take away the benefits seniors have earned. Wilson’s silence on this issue and refusal to protest the GOP plan to raise the retirement age to 70 shows just how out of touch with South Carolina he is.
“It’s time for Joe Wilson to show that he’s willing to fight for South Carolina’s seniors,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler. “He’s made a career out of voting the way his party leadership tells him to, but cutting the benefits that people have worked a lifetime to earn is taking partisanship too far. It’s time for Joe to stand up for his constituents, not Wall Street Banks and the GOP’s privatization schemes.”
Wilson votes with GOP 96.7% of the time. [Washington Post Votes Database, Accessed 8/9/10]
Meet the Press exchange between host David Gregory and Republican Leader John Boehner:
GREGORY: All right. One of the ways you talk about getting your arms around spending was something you suggested back in June. That is that social security, the retirement age, ought to be raised to the age of 70. Is that something that the GOP will campaign on in the fall?
BOEHNER: David, I think it’s time for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems that we face. These entitlement programs serve tens of millions of Americans and are critically important. We know that these programs are unsustainable in their current form, and I really do think it’s time we sit down and talk to the American people together about how we solve this. I think we need to bring Democrats and Republicans together in order to solve this problem.
GREGORY: You favor raising the retirement age?
BOEHNER: David, there are a lot of options about how you solve these, but I don’t want to get the cart before the horse. I think it’s important to have this conversation. It’s going to be a difficult conversation, but it’s time to have it and come up with solutions done in a bipartisan way to address the problems. [Meet the Press, 8/8/10]
Boehner Said he’d favor raising the Social Security retirement age to 70. Earlier this summer, Boehner outlined his support for raising the Social Security retirement age to 70, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation, and limiting payments to those who need them. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 6/29/10]
Described support for existing Social Security system as “nostalgia.” Boehner said, “We need the courage to strengthen Social Security for our children and grandchildren. We can’t be blinded by nostalgia for a broken system or casual about the problems it’ll cause our families down the road…” [US Fed News, Boehner Answers Community's Questions, 4/29/05]
Boehner promised agenda of privatizing Social Security if he took Ccarge. In 2006, Boehner said he’d push to privatize Social Security if he was in charge. “If I’m around in a leadership role come January, we’re going to get serious about it.” [Washington Times, 7/31/06]