Both Durbin and Kirk Need to Hear from Illinois Tomorrow
March 28, 2011 - 10:26pm ET
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This morning, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, along with Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, and Democrats Al Franken, Tom Harkin and Richard Blumenthal led a well attended event designed to publicize their efforts to protect Social Security from budget cuts demanded by congressional Republicans. The message was "Back Off Social Security." The program does not add to the federal deficit because it's not a part of the federal budget.
With only two weeks of government funding left under the temporary spending compromise, Republicans have ratcheted up their rhetoric on what they call entitlement reform. They call it reform, but Americans are beginning to see that it's just more wealth shifting from the middle class to the wealthiest Americans and multi-national corporations. Program cuts in exchange for low tax rates for the wealthy are bringing Americans into the streets in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
At the event, Reid spoke about the importance of Social Security in his own state, as reported in the Las Vegas Sun:
“For nearly every Nevadan 65 and older, they rely on Social Security,” Reid said Monday at a rally in the Dirksen Senate Office Building for protecting benefits against reductions and preserving the retirement age. “For half of them, it’s the only money that keeps them out of poverty. But I have to say that the Republicans don’t seem to care ... Look at their proposals, look at HR 1.”
H.R. 1 is the failed House Republican budget proposal that attempted to take $1.7 billion away from the Social Security Administration.
Illinois' Dick Durbin took his own stand to protect Social Security today. Durbin warned his fellow Senators that the votes to pass a budget bill containing cuts to Social Security aren't there . He went on during his appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe:
While Durbin has been talking about deficits this year, he's also indicated that he understands that revenues are the real budget problem. Speaking of Senate Republicans on MSNBC this morning, he quipped,
They don’t talk about Harry Reid, they talk about Grover Norquist, who won’t even let them say the word ‘revenue.'
Durbin knows that austerity will bring our recovery to a crashing halt as it has done in Ireland, Greece and UK. He told Chris Wallace on Fox News back in January that we have to invest in our country to recover from recession:
And if we are going to make it in the USA, which we can make, in terms of our success and in terms of making products, we have to focus on educating and innovating. We can’t be so laser focused on the deficit that we ignore the obvious. We are still in a recession. We need to put America back to work. You can’t end the deficit unless you start putting America back to work.
But Durbin has also inexplicably touted austerity at the same time and supported the deficit commission plan seeking deep budget cuts affecting programs that help middle class and working Illinoisans. Mark Kirk has already shown Illinois that he will vote against Social Security, so Illinoisans should join the Senate call-in to protect Social Security.
Call twice, once for each of Illinois' revenue/austerity -confused Senators, using this number:
Tell Durbin and Kirk to oppose all cuts to Social Security and vote yes on the Sanders/Reid Social Security Protection Amendment to the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. Amdt. 207) expressing the sense of the Senate that Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries should not be cut and that the Social Security program should not be privatized as part of any legislation to reduce the federal budget deficit.
See the Strengthen Social Security campaign website for more information about tomorrow's call-in.
I'm writing a series of posts as a blogging fellow for the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of more than 270 national and state organizations.
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