Santorum Criticizes Reagan, Wants Immediate Benefits Cuts

At a New Hampshire gathering last week, former Pennsylvania Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum went where most Republicans are unwilling to go when he criticized Ronald Reagan. Santorum made the criticisms in outlining perhaps the most controversial Social Security proposal out of all of the Republicans vying for their party’s nomination – cut benefits now.

Santorum blamed Reagan’s 1983 Social Security decisions for the current financial crisis in the country, mentioning Reagan’s decisions to raise the retirement age at which Americans become eligible for retirement benefits and to impose higher taxes. Santorum appeared undeterred by the criticism he knew he would face. He thinks everyone needs to realize the debt problems we face and that cutting benefits immediately is a tough, but necessary action. He has ruled out tax raises or deficit spending as ways to insure Social Security’s viability.

Other Republican nominees have stayed clear of suggesting immediate cuts. Their proposals have involved gradually raising the retirement age, reducing benefits for those with the highest incomes, letting young people invest some of their contributions, or opting out of contributions altogether.

As many Americans know, though, immediate cuts to Social Security benefits would have catastrophic consequences for many families and communities. Over the past couple months, we have mentioned several studies that noted how important Social Security benefits of all kinds are in American communities. Particularly in rural towns, reducing or cutting benefits could leave many families below the poverty line, while also forcing many businesses to close their doors, as Social Security benefits comprise a large portion of the disposal income of the residents in smaller towns.

How would your family adjust if your disability benefits or other Social Security benefits were cut in the next year or two?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys



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