Social Security and its role in the nation’s debt – The Fact Checker – The Washington Post
President Obama, at a news conference Monday, continued to press for the “biggest deal possible” that would combine spending cuts and new tax revenue in order to reach an agreement on raising the debt limit. He made it clear that some sort of tinkering with Social Security could be on the table.
“It’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing,” Obama told reporters. “And if you’re a progressive who cares about the integrity of Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and believes that it is part of what makes our country great that we look after our seniors and we look after the most vulnerable, then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes that are required to make it sustainable over the long term.”
That kind of talk has some Democrats nervous. Rep. Xavier Becerra, vice chair of the House Democratic Congress, made a declarative statement last Friday that Social Security has “never contributed a dime” to the national debt, “not one penny” to the budget deficit this year. He feels so passionate about this fact that, after the Fact Checker called his office about the statement, Becerra immediately got on the phone himself to defend it, saying it does not deserve any Pinocchios.