My party is proud to be responsible for creating Social Security, one of our nation’s most successful and effective programs.

Without Social Security Insurance, nearly half of America’s seniors would be living in poverty.

Social Security and Medicare are more than just two government programs designed to provide supplemental retirement and medical benefits to retired persons.  They also provide important life insurance to young survivors of deceased workers and disability insurance protection.

Social Security and Medicare are not entitlement programs to be manipulated by Washington bureaucrats, as they see fit.  These are government run insurance programs funded by contributions from the workers who own their own insurance policy.

From the very beginning, these programs were looked at as a sacred contract between the citizens of this nation and our government.  As your Congressman, I will let no person or program ever come between the citizens of this country and this insurance policy.

One of the things that I hear quite often from young people in their 20’s and 30’s is that they do not believe that Social Security or Medicare will be around for them when they retire.  Based on their experiences with the last election I can understand their cynicism.

Our leaders need to do a better job speaking out about their responsibilities to maintain the Social Security program.

As your Congressman, I will work to put Social Security on a firm foundation for today’s retirees and plan for its continued existence far off into the future.  As a first step, we must protect any money reserved for Social Security today and prevent it from being used for any other project in the future.

I will stand with senior citizens to fight every effort to cut or weaken Social Security.  This includes any attempt to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits.

I will fiercely resist any attempt to privatize Social Security.  Period.

I believe that Social Security cost-of-living adjustments do not reflect the spending patterns of seniors, particularly the disproportionate amount they have to spend on personal health care.  I believe that we must provide a more realistic adjustment.

We must increase the tax base for Social Security but not raise the tax rate.  Raising the tax rate would mostly affect hourly workers.  Raising the tax base means working with other members of Congress to remove the $127,200 cap on earnings.  Today the law says that a CEO who earns ten million dollars pays no more in Social Security Taxes than an Emergency Room doctor who earns $127,200.

I believe that the wealthiest among us have a duty to make a small contribution to maintain this insurance policy for our senior citizens.  Removing the cap would be a painless way for this contribution to be realized.

Social Security must be strengthened and preserved and I am willing to make sure that we do just that.