Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California pulled out a whiteboard on CNN Wednesday to explain how Republicans are “wrong” about Social Security expenditures adding to the deficit.
“This is how much Social Security adds to our national deficit. Zero, nothing! Social Security is not debt financed. In fact, by law, you cannot use debt spending to fund Social Security,” Porter, who is running for the Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, told CNN host Erin Burnett while brandishing a whiteboard.
Burnett mentioned a December 2022 Congressional Budget Office report predicting the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted in 2033 and cited some Republicans calling for “changes” to Social Security spending.
“And, in fact, we currently have over $2.9 trillion surplus. So, do we need to think about how to make Social Security as strong and as viable for future generations as we can? Absolutely,” Porter continued. “But it is nuts to try to blame social security and blame working Americans who pay for the program and suggest that Social Security is in any way responsible for the national debt.”
Republicans are demanding spending cuts as part of any increase to the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling, while the Biden administration is refusing to negotiate, claiming Republicans are holding the economy hostage. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen informed Congress Jan. 19 that the debt ceiling has been reached.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that cuts to Social Security and Medicare were off the table during a Sunday appearance on “Face the Nation.” Social Security takes 21% of the federal budget compared to 13% for defense spending, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
“A lot of these tax dollars are spent on investments that actually help us grow our economy. When we grow our economy, when we have more Americans at work, we have more tax revenue,” Porter said. “And that’s exactly how President Biden has been able to lower the deficit twice, once through the Inflation Reduction Act and creating growth in our economy and savings there, and another time through simply addressing and reducing programs.”
“It’s not wrong to say that we ought to look at every dollar and make sure it’s spent wisely. But when you see things like social security being put on the chopping block when it doesn’t even add one dollar to the deficit, it makes you wonder whether Republicans are being sincere about their effort to protect taxpayers,” Porter said.
Porter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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