House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi visited Santa Fe, New Mexico yesterday and told an audience at the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center she will not allow the Congressional Super Committee “to be a chopping block for” the programs. She ridiculed Texas Governor Rick Perry for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and said Social Security shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence with deficit reduction. Social Security has nothing to do with the federal deficit.
The unannounced visit with local Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and others provided a forum for the former Speaker to condemn those who were silent while the deficit was being amassed by former President Bush with tax cuts for the rich and two unfunded wars. I do recall Speaker Pelosi voting to fund the Iraq War however.
Social Security was put on the negotiating table by President Obama during negotiations on the debt ceiling even though it is self supporting, is safe until 2037 and can be expanded by lifting the cap on contributions. In these harsh economic times the program should be expanded instead of cut back and as more and more Americans lose their pensions more of us are dependent on Social Security. Lifting the cap on incomes subject to taxation would solidify Social Security and allow an expansion of benefits.
Medicare is in trouble because of runaway health care costs. The President’s bill will do little to rein them in and does nothing to provide a public option for those mandated to buy insurance from for profit, private corporations. Expanding Medicare by adding benefits and making it a national single payer plan solves those issues, gives access to quality medical care to every person and ends the runaway costs adding to the deficit.
The solutions to both deficit reduction and health care costs adding tot he deficit are real and actual and reasonable. They can be accomplished by passing The People’s Budget and help Americnas rather than hurting them. Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Santa Fe was welcome and her words important.
Note: I am visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico.