WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tore into House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Wednesday for suggesting that Social Security needs to be cut in order to balance the budget.
“Rep. Cantor’s claim that we need to cut seniors’ Social Security checks today to balance the budget is flat-out wrong,” Schumer said in a statement. “Blaming Social Security for our deficit is nothing but an ideological attempt to slash benefits and privatize the program.”
Cantor told reporters Tuesday that Social Security cuts would be necessary to eliminate the deficit over the next decade.
“It is very difficult to balance the budget within 10 years without cutting seniors’ benefits now,” he said, as quoted by CNS News. “And as I said before, our vision of entitlement reform will protect today’s seniors and those nearing retirement.”
The retort from Schumer, the Democrats’ leader on messaging, implies that Democrats intend to stand strong against Social Security cuts, which Republicans are increasingly pushing for this year.
Although the program’s payouts did exceed revenues for the first time last year, the Social Security Trust Fund boasts a surplus of $2.6 trillion and is expected to remain solvent in its current form until 2037, according to its 2010 trustees report.