Washington Leaders Must Protect Social Security While Debt Ceiling Debate Continues | Joseph H. Vicari Director, Ocean County Board of Commissioners

As Republicans and Democrats in Washington D.C. continue to bicker over the federal budget and the associated debt ceiling, I would like to encourage leaders in both parties to take no action that could harm the Social Security and Medicare benefits on which our senior’s depend.

For more than four decades as an Ocean County Freeholder and now Commissioner, I have been a staunch advocate for our senior citizens.

Ocean County has one of the largest senior citizen populations in New Jersey and I have spent my public service career ensuring that our older residents receive all of the benefits they deserve.

Seniors are the heart of our county’s economy. But more importantly, they have earned a comfortable and fulfilling retirement. I have worked hard to keep our county government and our cost of living affordable. Now the federal government needs to do its part and ensure Social Security not only continues, but keeps up with inflation.

I have recently spoken to a number of our residents who are concerned that the political posturing surrounding the ongoing debt service debate could target Social Security.

As a representative of our senior communities, I call on the Biden Administration and the leaders of both the House and Senate to consider no action that could in any way threaten Social Security benefits.

I feel that when a debate becomes so derisive, with both sides of the aisle posturing for headlines and support, our top-level elected officials sometime forget the fear that can trickle down to our residents.

It is a safe assumption that many people following the debt ceiling debate do not fully understands the long-term implications of raising or not raising the ceiling. They only want to know how the final decision will impact them. Will they pay more in taxes and interest? Will their benefits suffer?

Our elected federal officials, from the White House and Congress, need to step up and reassure our senior citizens that Social Security will be protected.

Among our many Ocean County seniors is one of the state’s largest populations of veterans. These brave men and women served in wars including World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Our veterans also need reassurance that the political wrangling in Washington D.C. sidesteps both Social Security and the critical VA benefits our heroes depend on.

Now is the time for the President and leaders of both houses to stop looking for headlines and instead look out for the interests of all citizens. Our national leaders were elected to serve all of the people, not just their respective political parties.

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