Democrats: 'Moral obligation' to preserve Social Security
Lawmaker calls Bush plan 'false solution' to a 'fabricated crisis'
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(CNN) -- On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Social Security, a Colorado congressman warned against President Bush's proposed changes to the national program, saying the president's plan was a "false solution" to a "fabricated crisis."
"For 70 years, Social Security has never failed to pay a promised benefit to seniors or people with disabilities -- it has never been a day late or a dollar short," Rep. John Salazar told the nation Saturday in the Democratic Party's weekly radio address. "The plan he (Bush) is offering won't even come close to putting the program on solid financial footing."
"Our No. 1 priority should be to guarantee that all American workers get the benefits they have earned -- everyone should get back what they worked so hard to put into the system. Changing the Social Security system to drain the trust fund and cut benefits simply does not make sense," Salazar said.
Bush's proposals for Social Security have been at the forefront of his second-term domestic agenda. He advocates sweeping changes to the national program, including the introduction of private accounts.
"Social Security is sound for today's seniors, but there's a hole in the safety net for our younger workers," the president said last week in his radio address to the nation.
But the privatization of Social Security, Salazar said, "would lead to a 40 percent cut in current benefits for middle-class beneficiaries, add 5 trillion dollars to our national debt and make the system weaker in the future."
"We have a moral obligation to stand up and protect Social Security for the next 70 years and beyond -- that means stopping privatization and dropping partisan demands for private accounts," the congressman said.
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