Minnesota Public Radio’s PoliGraph blog mostly backed up Rep. Keith Ellison’s claims that Social Security is solvent for the next couple decades.
The Democratic 5th District congressman claimed Social Security wouldn’t be exhausted until 2037—arguing that it is not part of the federal deficit and should be left out of fiscal cliff negotiations.
PoliGraph’s experts noted that Ellison is using an old number; the newest projections have the Social Security Trust Fund running out in 2033. It also noted that while Social Security is not part of the federal government’s general fund, some experts argue that interest owed to the program does affect the deficit.
Still, MPR concluded that, “His claim leans toward accurate.”
Fiscal cliff negotiations
Ellison is also joining with President Barack Obama to oppose the Republican push to maintain tax cuts for all earners. In a USA Today editorial, Ellison argued that the wealthiest should be taxed more.
“The latest proposal by Republicans fails to meet the basic test of fairness,” Ellison wrote. “Over the past two years, Republicans have forced cuts of more than $1.7 trillion for vital investments such as helping children get a college education and helping seniors heat their homes. But they have refused to ask the wealthy to contribute even a little more.”
On his Facebook page, he posted a link to the editorial and wrote, “‘Like’ if you think any deficit agreement should ask the richest 2 percent of Americans to pay their fair share.”
The post had 598 likes as of Monday morning.
Ellison applauded the Department of Labor’s November jobs report, which announced that the economy added 146,000 jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent. But he added that there’s still work to do:
“This month’s jobs report is great news for the student just graduating from college, the mother trying to put food on the table for her family, and the millions of Americans still looking for work after the great recession. Fewer Americans are now out of a job than at any time since the financial crisis of 2008. While my heart goes out to the families still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, thankfully our economy as a whole is continuing to grow.
But we still have a long way to go to dig ourselves out of the ditch Republicans in Washington drove us into. At this pace, it will take us over a decade for our economy to get back to full employment. It’s time for Republicans in Congress to support investment in our roads, bridges, and housing needs, so every American looking for a job can find one. And it’s time that they stop holding our economy captive to more tax breaks for the richest 2 percent of Americans and cuts to the services on which working families depend.
Americans are looking to Congress for leadership. It’s time for Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to listen.”