The plan the President outlined tonight for Social Security is no different than a television commercial for a casino that proclaims "everybody's a winner." Social security is not going bankrupt. Saying so only instills fear, not hope, in the American people.
Social Security is a safety net under every American, but the President's plan will make it a high wire act without a net. It's a prescription for social pain, not society's gain.
The American people want politicians to work with reality, not rhetoric, to strengthen Social Security. Following the President's plan will mean children yet unborn will shoulder the burden of the President's rhetoric, because the President's plan creates trillions in un-funded liability. It also cuts benefits, but he left that out.
We've got to protect Social Security, not prevent it from being there in 50 years. The President's plan bestows today's problems on tomorrow's citizens. They'll inherit the debt.
America does face a crisis - in health care. But the President uttered not a word about Medicare. America faces a crisis today, but after four years in office, the President doesn't even pay lip service.
What kind of a speech is it that doesn't mention the health care for senior citizens that is in crisis? It is a speech that calls for a fundamental shift in America: from a nation that defines itself as "we" to a country that rewards "me," leaving citizens to go it alone.
That's not an America for average Americans.
Congressman Jim McDermott represents Washington state's 7th District, which includes Seattle.