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Reed: Social Security Scare Tactics Are Inaccurate & Weaken The Program

September 03, 2020

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) is the Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on Social Security. Member guest posts appear occasionally. 

Social Security is vital for our seniors, individuals with disabilities, and working families. Ways and Means Republicans have been consistent in protecting Social Security and working to address the real challenges it faces in a bipartisan fashion.

That’s why Republicans are pressing Stephen Goss, the Chief Actuary of Social Security, over the use of his office by Senate Democrats to propagate a myth. Factual, empirical analysis by the Actuary’s office is vital to ensuring Social Security can function effectively, and it shouldn’t be abused as a political football.

[READ: Brady, Grassley Push Social Security Chief Actuary to Set Record Straight on Partisan Democrat Misinformation]

Senate Democrats recently requested Chief Actuary Goss analyze what would happen if payroll taxes that fund Social Security were eliminated without replacement funding. The analysis generated alarming headlines declaring Social Security could be depleted by 2023. And that was the goal; create concern without any substance.

Not a single lawmaker has proposed nor supported such a bill. Senate Democrats asked the Actuary this misleading question to artificially shape the narrative and scare our seniors and those with disabilities during an election year and global pandemic.

Americans deserve facts, not strawmen, yet Democrats ordered the irresponsible use of non-political offices to spread misinformation. How will the public be able to trust key information regarding Social Security and other government programs when it actually matters? This is precisely the kind of politicization of government resources that has sown distrust by the people in our federal government.

For the millions of Americans who rely on Social Security, these kinds of Washington games are hurtful and do nothing to advance meaningful, bipartisan Social Security reform.

The fact is we are committed to making sure Social Security strong for our seniors, individuals with disabilities, and their families now and for generations to come. We know Social Security faces real challenges and the only way to address them is in a bipartisan fashion.  Americans deserve better than election-year scare tactics. 

The politicization of the Actuary’s office is wrong. The fearmongering is wrong. We must stand together to maintain the public’s faith in Social Security and protect the independence of the Actuary’s office.

The Bottom Line: We will always fight for Social Security and those who depend on it. To suggest otherwise is wrong and harmful.