Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed White House assurances that Social Security benefits won't be cut as part of negotiations on a year-end deficit-reduction deal.
"This is a step in the right direction for more than 55 million Americans who have earned Social Security benefits today and every working American who will receive Social Security benefits in the future," said Sanders, the founder of the Senate Defending Social Security Caucus. "The simple truth is that Social Security has not contributed a nickel to the national debt so it makes no sense for it to be part of deficit negotiations," he said.
"The American people have been clear that Social Security is enormously important to their well-being and that it should not be cut. The election and poll after poll show clearly that the American people want the wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country, who are doing phenomenally well, to play a significant role in reducing the deficit," Sanders added.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday that Social Security should be addressed separately from the lame-duck deficit negotiations. "We should address the drivers of the deficit and Social Security currently is not a driver of the deficit," Carney said.