Pelosi: ‘No Reason to Say We’ve Got to Slow Growth of Social Security … To Reduce the Deficit’

Patrick Burke | April 11, 2013 | 4:01pm EDT
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Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House minority leader. (AP photo)

( – In commenting on the federal budget and over-spending by government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said there is “no reason” to claim it is necessary “to slow the growth of Social Security benefits in order to reduce the deficit.”

At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Pelosi said, “There’s no reason why you should say, ‘We’ve got to slow the growth of Social Security benefits in order to reduce the deficit.”

The deficit in fiscal year 2012 was $1.1 trillion; in 2011, $1.3 trillion; in 2010, $1.2 trillion; and in 2009, $1.4 trillion. It is projected to be $993 billion for fiscal year 2013.

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Pelosi went on to argue that the federal deficit can instead be reduced through the elimination of tax loopholes and subsidies.

“No, we can reduce the deficit by having people in the high incomes pay their fair share,” she said.  “We can reduce the deficit by cutting spending and that includes tax expenditures. We spend hundreds of billions of dollars unnecessarily giving tax loopholes, subsidies and the rest to those who don’t need them.”

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama unveiled his budget proposal for FY 2014 in which he calls for the elimination of tax loopholes for wealthy Americans in addition to implementing the ‘Buffet Rule,’ which would require millionaires to pay a 30 percent income tax rate.

The budget also implements a “chained CPI,” which over time would lessen annual increases to benefit programs such as Social Security.

During FY 2012, the Social Security program ran a $47.8 billion deficit and there were a record 56,658,978 beneficiaries as of Dec. 2012.

According to an Oct. 2012 report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Social Security outlays under current law will continue to outpace tax revenues allocated for the program into the 2020s and 2030s.

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