Campaign 2010

Mar 31, 2011

Republican Leader Eric Cantor Says He Opposes Keeping Social Security Around

In a incredibly revealing moment that exposed the radical House Republican agenda, Republican Leader Eric Cantor (VA-07) said that “we have to come to grips” with the fact that Social Security “cannot exist” any longer. House Republicans have begun pushing forward on budget proposals that include privatization of Social Security on Wall Street and cuts to benefits for senior citizens. Recently, House Speaker John Boehner called for cuts to benefits.

“It’s beyond outrageous that one of the Republican leadership, Representative Eric Cantor, would call for ending Social Security for middle class families who are spending their lifetime working to earn it,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Republican Leader Eric Cantor has now made it clear that he doesn’t think Social Security should be around for middle class families working hard and paying into it today when they retire. Instead, he thinks it’s a big bank for the government.”

Recently, the DCCC launched an action center,, to highlight that Social Security belongs to the people who worked their whole life to pay into the system, but House Republicans want to use Social Security and Medicare as a piggy bank for the government.  At people can send letters to their Members of Congress and print out a pledge for their Member to sign.


  • Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor Opposes Continuing Social Security: “We're going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.” [NPR, 3/29/11]
  • Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and House Speaker John Boehner have made clear they intend to push forward a plan that privatizes Social Security and dismantles Medicare. [AP, 3/11/11; Wall Street Journal, 3/4/11]
  • Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Paul Ryan’s roadmap and the plan to privatize Social Security and dismantle Medicare is “something we need to embrace.” [The Hill, 1/23/11]
  • Plan Would ‘Destroy’ Medicare and Social Security. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare discussing the Ryan/Republican plan wrote, “In short, it is a budget plan which decimates Social Security and Medicare in the name of deficit reduction.  The only thing new about this strategy, is the fact that Rep. Ryan isn’t shy about acknowledging that he believes seniors should foot the bill for our current economic nightmare…Destroying Social Security and Medicare, under the guise of deficit reduction, isn’t about creating sound economic policy it’s just more of the same old privatization politics, rewrapped, repackaged and rejected by the American people just two years ago.” [NCPSSM, 2/3/10]
  • Washington Post’s Ezra Klein: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security are Privatized. According to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, “To move us to surpluses, Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.” [Washington Post, 2/1/10]
  • Center for American Progress: Privatizes Medicare and Social Security. In February, Pat Garofalo writing for the Center for American Progress’ Wonk Room called the Republican proposal, “a radical budget proposal that eliminates long-term deficits by essentially privatizing Medicare and Social Security and placing arbitrary, non-specific freezes on all non-discretionary spending.” [Center for American Progress, 2/6/10]
  • Paul Krugman: Plan Privatizes Medicare. According to Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, “In the Ryan proposal, nobody currently under the age of 55 would be covered by Medicare as it now exists. Instead, people would receive vouchers and be told to buy their own insurance. And even this new, privatized version of Medicare would erode over time because the value of these vouchers would almost surely lag ever further behind the actual cost of health insurance. By the time Americans now in their 20s or 30s reached the age of eligibility, there wouldn't be much of a Medicare program left.” [New York Times, 2/11/10]

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