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Exclusive: ‘Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit,’ Sanders tells Raw

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Read part one of this interview, available here

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) slammed the “hypocrisy” of deficit hawks seeking to cut Social Security, arguing in a recent interview with Raw Story that the program is fully solvent for several decades and that diminishing its scope would drastically damage Democratic prospects.

“Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. That’s a totally bogus issue,” Sanders said. “To talk about Social Security within the context of deficit reduction is total nonsense, because it has not contributed one nickel to the deficit.”

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While Social Security payouts did exceed revenues for the first time last year, the Social Security Trust Fund presently enjoys a surplus of $2.6 trillion and is expected to remain solvent in its current form until 2037, according to its trustees report.

But critics nevertheless argue that because money is so tight, it may be necessary to cut future benefits in order to pay down America’s enormous national debt. One method gaining traction in the beltway is incrementally increasing the retirement age according to average life span, which is supported by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Democratic leaders such as Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

Conservatives have long targeted Social Security, viewing it as an emblem of the welfare state their ideology staunchly opposes. The Bush administration tried to privatize the program in 2005, failing due to opposition from Democrats.

Liberals have harbored fears that President Obama may support cuts to Social Security, which Sanders said contradicts the president’s campaign pledge to sustain and strengthen the program. He also warned that reversing this promise would cause a fatal blow to the future of the progressive movement and Democratic Party.

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“To have campaigned on that basis, and now to cave into Republican demands, would be a real insult to people to voted for you,” Sanders said.

“This would be a horrendous public policy decision, it would be a horrendous political decision,” he added. “The idea that a Democratic president would move us in that direction would be a bitter, bitter disappointment to millions of Americans of all political stripes, but especially to progressives, to trade unionists, and to senior citizens.”

The independent from Vermont slammed the “total hypocrisy” of Democrats and Republicans who support cutting Social Security to reduce the deficit but also backed an extension of tax cuts for the wealthy last month.

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“Cutting Social Security is not relevant to the deficit and national debt problem,” Sanders said.


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The Internet pummels CNN for booking Lewandowski the morning after he admitted to lying on TV: ‘Why would you do this?’

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Corey Lewandowski admitted to the House Judiciary Committee that he had lied in TV appearances -- so social media users were appalled that he was booked the following morning to appear on CNN.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager was confronted with false statements he had made in appearances on MSNBC and CNN, where he was scheduled to appear at 8 a.m. on "New Day," according to the show's executive producer.

COMING UP: Former Trump campaign manager @CLewandowski_ LIVE on @CNN's @NewDay at 8amET on yesterday's contentious hearing and impeachment.

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Trump exonerates himself in weird third-person tweet: ‘President Trump didn’t do anything wrong or illegal’

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President Donald Trump declared himself exonerated by former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an early morning tweet.

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Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.

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Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.

"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."

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