Biden Emphasizes the Threat to Social Security and Medicare at Rally
In a speech marking the end of his first week in office, Vice President Joseph Biden addressed the nation’s financial insecurity in the context of the looming crisis facing Social Security and Medicare. At a rally in Philadelphia on Nov. 10, Biden said it was “down to the wire” for Social Security and Medicare. While he didn’t come right out and say it, it’s clear the vice president is concerned.
Biden was joined by senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer, who told people at the rally that “there are people out there who will say that in my first week in office we don’t have the resources to do what President Obama has done.”
Biden addressed the audience at the rally in a well-produced video, which also includes excerpts from an address he planned to make to the nation on Friday. In it, Biden makes an impassioned plea for the country to take responsibility for its long-term economic security.
“When my friends at Citi saw the president’s speech on Thursday, they said, ‘Biden, please, please use all your time at the rally, take it out of his speech and use it to bring out the president’s plan,’” said Ben Winship, the director of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, who attended the rally.
Winship noted that Biden “spent more time talking to the audience in Philadelphia than he did with the press corps.” The audience consisted of union members supporting union members, including some people who had been working at Citi.
In the speech, Biden said that Social Security’s and Medicare’s funding, which represents 85% of government spending, have “barely changed” in the past 80 years.
“The problem is that we spend more, but we get less in return than we did in the good old days,” Biden said. Social Security cost $15 billion in 2010, and is $11 billion away from its $21.6 trillion target, the Biden campaign said.
“The only way we can save our retirement system is by making it a safer