Democrats’ harmful proposal fails to put Social Security programs on a sustainable footing and makes matters worse, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, opening a Republican meeting titled “Democrats’ Partisan Approach to Social Security Hurts Current and Future Workers.” There’s too much at stake for America’s seniors, and Republicans want to act quickly to protect Social Security for both current beneficiaries and future generations.
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Rep. Brady’s full remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.
Good morning – and thank you all for joining us. Thank you to Congressman Schweikert for leading this discussion with me today.
I also want to thank our guests for being here and for their testimony.
I’d like to outline briefly what’s at stake for our seniors and the next generation of Americans if we fail to address the challenges with Social Security head on.
As everyone here knows, the size and scope of the problems plaguing the Social Security program, particularly when it comes to financing, are far greater than most in Washington care to admit.
And unfortunately, our Democrat colleagues’ so-called solutions are partisan and they expand the program in a way that will only make matters worse.
Republicans want to protect Social Security for current beneficiaries and future generations – and if possible save Social Security once and for all.
Yet Social Security’s finances are unsustainable and you just have to look at the Trustees report to know that.
Despite the Biden Administration’s attempts to tout the report as proof of a strong economy – with predictions that full benefits would be paid through 2034 – this paints a much rosier picture than the nonpartisan CBO and recent economic trends support.
Even the Social Security Chief Actuary has admitted that its estimates for inflation are likely off by more than four percent – putting the report’s findings into question.
In fact, CBO has estimated inflation will cause income taxes on Social Security checks to jump by 37 percent this year – which hits the more than 65 million American seniors who rely on Social Security especially hard.
In President Biden’s cruel economy, higher energy and food costs, and now, higher taxes on their Social Security benefits, are punishing the elderly with no end in sight.
A closer look at the reports’ findings also show that Social Security programs’ costs are projected to outpace economic growth and take up a larger and larger share of the economy through 2077.
There is little doubt that this program is in need of reform on a bipartisan basis.
Unfortunately, so far Democrats haven’t been interested in coming to the table. Just look at their record over the past year and a half.
Despite the fact that our country was nearing the end of the pandemic, Democrats rammed through a nearly $2 trillion so-called COVID stimulus in March of last year, which fueled the inflation fire that is raging today.
While at least 65 percent of American families are struggling to keep up with rising costs, those Americans on fixed incomes obviously are hurt the hardest.
ix months after promising to unite the country on a bipartisan basis, President Biden injected politics into the agency with the partisan firing of Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul.
Then after being closed for more than two years, the Social Security Administration finally reopened their field offices.
But as recent testimony suggests, Americans continue to struggle to get help from the agency, with only 50 to 60 percent of employees having returned to work in person.
The American people deserve better. They certainly deserve a bipartisan effort.
Unfortunately, our colleagues on the Democrat side aren’t yet interested in those discussions.
They’re more interested, unfortunately, in crippling tax hikes and unsustainably expanding these programs – all of which will make the programs more expensive, and make things harder on current and future workers.
I’ll conclude with this. Bipartisan solutions to the challenges at the Social Security Administration must take into account what we know works: pro-growth and pro-worker policies.
Look no further than the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – which we know bolstered government revenue and put these programs on stronger footing.
Despite Democrats’ debunked claims that corporate taxes are down 40 percent – they are not – the CBO has confirmed we’ll see a whopping $2.4 trillion increase in corporate and payroll tax revenues over the next decade.
The CBO also found that America’s economy will slow and jobs will be lost if President Biden succeeds in repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – which only puts programs like Social Security in greater jeopardy.
For America’s seniors and the next generation, there is simply too much at stake not to act. That’s why I’m so appreciative of David Schweikert’s leadership here, for the witnesses and their testimony, and the efforts from our Committee to set the table for what we hope will be an adult conversation on the future of Social Security.