Romney ad says Medicare, Social Security "at risk" under Obama

By 2033, there will be fewer than two workers paying in to Social Security for every retiree and could fall 25 cents short for every dollar it owes in benefits. Mark Strassmann reports how the 2012 presidential candidates propose to fix the problem before it starts.


Using a clip of Mitt Romney's remarks during Tuesday night's presidential debate, a new Romney campaign ad argues that President Obama's policies have failed, specifically charging that Medicare and Social Security are "at risk" under Mr. Obama's leadership.

"His policies haven't worked," Romney said during the debate. "Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work... He said that he'd cut in half the deficit... He just hasn't been able...to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them...That's what this election is about."

Between clips of Romney speaking, text in the ad reads, "Under President Obama: Medicare And Social Security At Risk."

A May study by the Maryland-based research firm Sentier Research did find that real median American income in March was down by $4,300 since January 2009, when Mr. Obama took office. And while the technical number of unemployed persons stands at 12.1 million, it's t

true there are about 23 million Americans looking for more work -- that is, they're only employed part-time but would like to work full time, or they've stopped looking for work.

As for Medicare, the 2011 Medicare Trustee Report said the Medicare trust fund could be insolvent as early as 2016. However, the $716 billion in cuts Mr. Obama enacted in his health care law could keep the program solvent another eight years. Romney has said he wants to repeal those cuts.

The president hasn't done anything to stabilize Social Security, but in an April 2011 town hall, he suggested lifting the payroll tax cap. "So if we just made a little bit of an adjustment in terms of the cap on Social Security, that would do a significant amount to stabilize the system," he said. For now, the Social Security payroll tax remains capped at $110,100.

By comparison, Romney's running mate Paul Ryan said in the vice presidential debate last week that a Romney administration would "slowly raise the retirement age over time" to keep the program solvent.

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