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Santorum: Trim Social Security now even if painful



Published: Fri, January 6, 2012 @ 8:06 p.m.

Santorum: Trim Social Security now even if painful

KEENE, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called Friday for immediate cuts to Social Security benefits, risking the wrath of older voters and countless others who balk at changes to the entitlement program.

“We can’t wait 10 years,” even though “everybody wants to,” Santorum told a crowd while campaigning in New Hampshire and looking to set himself apart from his Republican rivals four days before the New Hampshire primary.

Most of his opponents have advocated phasing in a reduction and say immediate cuts would be too big a shock to current and soon-to-be retirees.

Politicians typically suggest phase-in periods of up to a decade when broaching the topic of changing Social Security to avoid grievous consequences from angering older voters.

Clearly aware of the risks, Santorum argued that everyone must sacrifice now because the nation’s “house is on fire” with soaring federal debt. He argued that he is being courageous and honest by telling Americans they can’t afford to wait to rein in Social Security’s growing costs. And he said he anticipated possible attack ads on his position.

He made a similar pitch last week in Fort Dodge, Iowa, when he was getting little attention in the GOP race — and before he came from the back of the pack to nearly win the Iowa caucuses.

At that event, Santorum said: “The Democratic National Committee is going to say, ’Ah, ... he’s for changing benefits now.’ Yes, I am. Yes, I am.”

“We need to change benefits for everybody now,” Santorum said at the time. “Is everybody going to take a little bit of a hit? No, but a lot of people will.”

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, says changes should include a higher eligibility age to qualify for Social Security benefits, and tighter restrictions on benefits for upper-income people. Americans now qualify for reduced Social Security benefits at age 62 and full benefits at 66, soon to rise to 67.

Social Security pays proportionately higher benefits to low-income people. But Santorum says wealthy retirees’ proportionate benefits should be trimmed further. He did not offer details.


Comments

1oldmillspice(160 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Thats right, Take from americans and give it all to foreign countries in aid. Gun sales are at an all time high ,There's going to be an all out war in this country. Mark my words its going to happen

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2VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Wow - does he realize how many people this would affect? I'm all for straightening out S.S., but stretch it out over time, not all at once. Many, many people have included S.S. benefits in their retirement planning and he is now saying forget about it? And what about those who lost their pension plans from corporate buy-outs or bankrupt employers? He really doesn't want to be President does he?

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3jbyrd1960(49 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

They need to cut the people getting S.S. that never worked a day in there life. I know so many people that worked maybe a couple years when they were young, then sold drugs and lived off the system and are in there 60's now and living off SS. It's bull crap to think I worked 40 years for nothing.

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4Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Social security disability is the most fraudulantly abused entitlement in world history. >95% of people on it are more functional than people like me who work >60 hours/week.

Support for entitlements = support for stealing from future generations.

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

How about returning the high income earners tax rates to what they were before the Bush tax cuts instead. Social security types only make about $900 a month if they are lucky and you want them to suffer cuts to that income while the millionaires enjoy their Bush tax cuts? I don't think so. Santorum made another stupid Republican comment that is the reason we need to re-elect Obama. Our retired seniors deserve their social security and medicare - they earned it by working all their lives!

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6cambridge(3013 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

He is a typical teabagger/republican. Totally against raising taxes by 4% on the top 1% who wouldn't even notice it or closing loopholes on corporations that pay little or no taxes. Better to take from the people that can afford it the least.

UnionForever....It's good to see that you've finally recovered from that head injury.

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7HAM711(16 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

EASY FOR HIM TO SAY, THIS DOESN'T EFFECT OUR LAWMAKERS IN DC OR HIS PENSION. JUST GREEDY, GREEDY REPUBLICANS

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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Boy this sure makes me want to vote for the right wing 1% & gov kkk . Where is the tea party
The grumpy old men who are all on SS

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9commyliberal(94 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Santorum is the same clown who would call Social Security an "entitlement program " while squealing for ANY cuts to military spending.

My spouse and I have been paying into SS since we were 19 yrs old and I don't believe anything I am forced to participate in can be called an "entitlement program".

Just for fun, google spreading santorum and keep this website in the top five choices when santorum's name is googled!

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10VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Worst of all are the young people on welfare today who can't keep a job, keep getting fired for poor performance, then go on welfare and get their food stamp card. Then they complain when the food stamp card will not allow them to buy cigs or 5 hr energy drinks.

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11DwightK(1256 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Is Romney paying these guys to self destruct like this?

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