Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks about the manufactured crisis of Social Security.
Our job is to send a very loud and clear message to the Republican leadership in the Senate and the house. ‘Stop manufacturing a crisis in the Social Security Disability Insurance program.’ There is no crisis. Stop manufacturing one.
Stop trying to pit senior citizens on fixed incomes against the disabled. We are going to stand together. Stop rigging the rules so that you can cut Social Security benefits for the most vulnerable people in this country, while at the same time you’re busy about giving tax breaks to the wealthiest and largest corporations. Stop it!
The sky rocketing increase, the obscene level, of wealth and income inequality in our country has not only hurt millions of Americans and helped cause the middle class of our country to disappear, but it has also hurt Social Security. If income inequality had stayed at the same level today as it was in 1983, Social Security would have more than 1 trillion dollars than it does today in the trust fund. If the payroll tax had continued to cover 90% of all earnings, rather than the 83% that it currently covers, because incomes have gone down, the Social Security trust fund would be able to pay every benefit owed to every eligible American, not just for the next 18 years, but for the next 38 years.
So in essence, what the Republicans are doing is punishing working people twice. First, their incomes have gone down, and the rich have gotten richer. And then they’re saying ‘because incomes have gone down, less money has gone into the trust fund. And now that less money is going into the trust fund, we’re going to have to cut benefits.’ That is exactly what the Republicans are planning. This is a Robin Hood proposal in reverse. They are taking from the poor and giving to the wealthiest people in this country.
— Sen. Bernie Sanders