Sen. Tom Harkin slammed his own president and party for hatching the payroll tax cut deal that is expected to pass Congress Friday, saying he’s “embarrassed” the Democrats are pushing a measure that begins the “unravelling of Social Security.”
The bill will extend a 2 percent break in the tax that goes to fund Social Security for the rest of 2012, saving families $1,000 on average.
That lost revenue will be replaced in the Social Security trust fund from the nation’s general tax collections, but the plan has attracted opposition from both the left and right on grounds that it sets a bad precedent and adds the $100 billion cost to the deficit.
Harkin (D-Iowa), who has long been a staunch defender of Social Security, hammered it as the beginning of the end for the program.
“This Congress will be making a grave mistake — a grave mistake — and reinforcing a dangerous precedent,” Harkin said in a dramatic Senate floor speech late Thursday. “And I’m dismayed that Democrats, including a Democratic president and a Democratic vice president, have proposed this, and are willing to sign off on a deal that could begin the unraveling of Social Security.”