Donnelly: I’ll protect Social Security, Mourdock won’t

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Indianapolis, Ind.-- U.S. Senate candidate Joe Donnelly marked the 76th anniversary of Social Security being signed into law by painting a stark contrast between his record and that of his opponent, TEA Party-backed State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.  

“For 76 years, Social Security has been a promise to all Americans that they would have a chance to retire with dignity,” said Donnelly. “Indiana is home to more than 1.2 million beneficiaries, who are hard-working men and women who played by the rules and paid their fair share.  We have an obligation to them to keep our promise and protect Social Security.  Richard Mourdock’s way would gamble with Social Security in Wall Street’s casino, and he’s even questioned if Social Security is constitutional.

“Mr. Mourdock’s ‘my way or the highway’ approach would hurt seniors. We can and should take steps to strengthen Social Security while keeping our commitment to Hoosier seniors.  What we can’t do is adopt the Mourdock Plan that would break promises to our seniors.”

BACKGROUND:

Mourdock supports privatizing Social Security.
 [OnTheIssues.org, accessed 8/13/12]

Mourdock-supported Bill Would Force Massive Cuts to Social Security.  
Republicans voted to force massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other crucial benefits.  The so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill contains a constitutional amendment which would set a spending cap of 18% of GDP and would make it virtually impossible for Congress to raise revenues.  As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities concluded, “reaching and maintaining a balanced budget in the decade ahead while barring any tax increases would necessitate deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11; Senate Vote 116, 7/22/11;  House Vote 606, 7/19/11; Crawfordsville Journal Review 7/22/11]

Mourdock-supported Ryan Budget to Dismantle Medicare Would Undermine Social Security.
 In 2011, Republicans voted for a plan that would balance the budget on the back of seniors.  Although the Ryan Republican Budget did not directly attempt an overhaul of Social Security, it did lay the groundwork for future benefit cuts. The budget amended the Social Security Act to graft onto it a new trigger mechanism that, if adopted, would force the development of proposals to cut Social Security benefits and then expedite them through the Congress by using "fast track" legislative procedures. The Republican budget would use an existing method employed by the Social Security trustees to evaluate the financial condition of the Social Security program to initiate their fast track process.  [Social Security Works; Senate Vote 77, 5/25/11; House Vote 277, 4/15/11; ABC News, 5/7/12]

Mourdock Challenged The Constitutionality Of Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid.
In April 2011, Mourdock spoke at a Madison Tea Party event and stated “Sixty percent of our budget, sixty percent of our budget this year, will be for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. I challenge you in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution where those so-called enumerated powers are listed. I challenge you to find words that talk about Medicare or Medicaid or, yes, even Social Security. You know, Article I, Section 8 says the U.S. government shall have the power to tax to pay off its debts, to pay for its defense, and then it says to provide for the general welfare.” [Madison IN Tea Party event transcription, youtube.com, accessed 4/16/11]

Mourdock: Raising The Retirement Age Is A “Necessity.”
Reported Politico in April 2012, “On the issue of raising the age for acquiring Social Security benefits, Lugar appeared supportive but devoted much of his answer to “the question [of] how rapidly to escalate the situation,” favoring incremental changes. Mourdock flatly said he believed ‘the retirement age is going to be raised. I think it’s a necessity.’” [Politico,4/12/12]

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