Ohio senators duel over deficit and Social Security

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Ohio senators duel over deficit and Social Security

WKSU – President Obama plans a special meeting Sunday to continue discussions with congressional leaders over ways to reduce the deficit. And the president is pushing for a far more extensive debt-reduction plan that could include cuts and other changes in Social Security and Medicare.

To Ohio’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman, Social Security must be part of any discussion of deficit reductions.

“I don’t think that anyone in Washington would disagree that we have to make changes in these programs for them to survive,” Portman said. “The Social Security trustees, who are a nonpartisan group have warned us repeatedly that the trust fund is going belly up, that the program is not going to be solvent and that we have to do something about it.”

Portman says the cuts he would support include cutting Social Security benefits for wealthier Ameicans.

But Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says he is far from as convinced as Portman that Social Security is the place to cut.

“I’m not willing to put Medicare and Social Security on the table when I know there are other much better ways. We can instead have some significant cuts in the defense budget which has gone up dramatically in the last 10 years; we can bring our troops home more quickly from Afghanistan and Iraq. We can use generic drugs in Medicare. We can do a lot of things that will get us there in without sacrificing Social Security,” he said.

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