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The Honorable Lou Barletta
510 Cannon House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Barletta;

In response to your constituents, you recently explained your position on the budgeting process. In the course of your explanation, you make the commendable and seldom heard point that the strength of Social Security depends on a strong economy and the amount of money paid into it.

However, when describing your beliefs about the national deficit, you mention Social Security as a “driver of the debt.” I would like to point out that under the law, Social Security can only spend money that came from its designated tax or the interest on the bonds held by its trust fund. It has no legal authority to spend one dime beyond this sum. In that sense it cannot contribute to budget deficits or the national debt.

As a freshman member of the House of Representatives who has made budgetary concerns a top priority, I hope you and your staff will have the opportunity to further review the design and finances of Social Security. If you would like any additional background on the program in the future, I would be happy to assist you.

Dean Baker
Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Originally posted to ceprDC on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 01:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Every time I see "Representative Barletta" my head spins around a little.  I grew up in his district, he's been in local politics forever, and the idea of him sitting in Congress makes personal for me how far off the deep end the GOP has gone.

    Thank you for holding him accountable.  His constituents still include some of my family and friends, who dutifully vote against their own best interests, stuck in their echo chamber.  It's sad to watch.

    A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality. ~ John Lennon

    by SteelerGrrl on Wed Aug 24, 2011 at 03:15:27 PM PDT

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