WASHINGTON – With the new Republican majority hinting at cuts to Social Security, the Senate’s top Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he would do everything he could to preserve the program.
“As long as I’m the majority leader, I’m going to do everything within my legislative powers to prevent privatizing or eliminating Social Security. Simply say it’s off the table,” Reid said at an event with progressive activists. “We’re not going to balance the budget on the backs of senior citizens.”
“The most successful social program in the history of the world is Social Security,” he said.
The event, titled “Protecting Social Security” and organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), also featured seniors and younger Americans describing the value of the program to their families and expressing opposition to cuts.
The group sent Reid over 50,000 thank you letters for his defense of the program.
The top Republicans on the House and Senate budget committees this month championed a plan that would largely privatize Social Security. GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also expressed support for the idea, and House Speaker John Boehner said raising that retirement age should be “on the table.”
“Unfortunately it appears that it’s become the official position of the Republican Party to privatize and dismantle Social Security,” Reid said. “They’re using scare tactics, saying the program’s in crisis and on the verge of bankruptcy. That is a myth and it’s not true.”
As of last month, the Social Security Trust Fund had a surplus of $2.6 trillion, according to its 2010 trustees report. It was expected to remain solvent through 2037.
This video is from PCCC, uploaded to YouTube.