Like indigestion, a bad idea that would hurt Social Security beneficiaries keeps coming back up. Former congressman Eric Cantor is the latest to push the Trust Act as a panacea for the federal government’s debt problems [“Past debt ceiling fights had a purpose, says former GOP House majority leader Eric Cantor. This one doesn’t.,” Outlook, Oct. 3]. The Trust Act would establish “rescue committees” that could fast-track cuts to Americans’ Social Security benefits. It does not require these committees to consider the needs of beneficiaries, only the fiscal bottom line — as if seniors, the disabled and their families were simply figures on a ledger. Beneficiaries who struggle daily to make ends meet cannot afford cuts.
Any changes to Social Security should be thoroughly and openly deliberated, with seniors and their advocates having seats at the table. We support legislation that would extend the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund and boost benefits, by adjusting the payroll wage cap so that the wealthy finally contribute their fair share. But we cannot — and should not — bank on pernicious proposals such as the Trust Act.
Max Richtman, Washington, DC
The writer is president and chief executive of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.