By Erik Wasson - 03/22/11 02:56 PM EDT
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Tuesday announced it is going after vulnerable Republicans for GOP plans to tackle entitlement spending.
The DCCC is using automated calls and ads in the campaign, which targets House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and nine other Republicans.
“Everyone knows that Social Security belongs to the people who worked their whole life to pay into the system. But Representative [XXX] wants to use Social Security and Medicare as a piggy bank for the government. We can’t turn Social Security over to Wall Street banks or make Medicare into a voucher system,” the telephone script reads.
Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio.) office shot back Tuesday that it is President Obama's budget, which does not lay out a reform plan for Social Security, that will lead to benefit cuts.
"President Obama's congressional campaign arm is out today accusing Republicans of proposing 'radical benefit cuts' to programs like Social Security when — in fact — it is the president's own budget that by doing nothing would lead to 'radical benefit cuts' for seniors and future retirees, while piling more debt onto the backs of our kids and grandkids," his office said in a statement.
If Social Security is not reformed, either through smaller cuts or tax increases, there will be an across-the-board cut to benefits in 2037.
Ryan is planning to propose reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in a draft 2012 budget resolution due out early April. The reforms would need to be passed by Congress separately, but the resolution, if passed, would stand as a policy statement on how the GOP would deal with the national debt.
While the details of the reforms are yet not known, Ryan in his own January 2010 “Roadmap” plan called for turning Medicare into a partial voucher system and for allowing beneficiaries to invest money rather than contribute to Social Security via payroll taxes.
Last week, Ryan acknowledged publicly that his budget plans are handing Democrats a political weapon for 2012. But he called on both parties to come together to make the reforms in order to restore fiscal balance and shore up Social Security beyond 2037.
“Everyone agrees we need to cut spending, but House Republicans are making the wrong choices by forcing seniors to shoulder the burden while not asking Big Oil companies making record profits to sacrifice even the smallest amount,” said Jennifer Crider of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a release.
The DCCC has also launched a website for its campaign: stopbenefitcuts.com.
The nine targets of the campaign in addition to Ryan are: Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Bill Young (Fla.), Allen West (Fla.), Dan Benishek (Mich.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Lou Barletta (Pa.), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Sean Duffy (Wis.) and David McKinley (W.Va.).