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Kaine discusses retirement security in NoVa

U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine met with Northern Virginia seniors this morning to discuss his economic vision and strategies to strengthen vital programs like Social Security and Medicare.  During the 90-minute conversation at Ramparts Tavern & Grill in Alexandria, Kaine highlighted his commitment to Virginia seniors and outlined his approach to bolster retirement security for older Americans.

“Things like Social Security and veterans benefits are more than just federal line items,” said Kaine. “They represent a promise. I will oppose any efforts to dismantle or radically alter these successful programs of earned benefits.”

During the discussion, Kaine outlined ways to control Medicare costs by reducing waste, fraud, and abuse,and allowing for the negotiation of prescription drug prices—a measure that could save as much as $24 billion every year. Kaine also contrasted his balanced approach to deficit reduction with Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that George Allen has consistently praised, which would dramatically shift healthcare costs onto the shoulders of older Americans. In addition, Kaine criticized George Allen’s vote to shift Social Security dollars to private accounts during his last time in Washington.

“Before Social Security, 50 percent of seniors lived in poverty during their later years. Social Security is probably the most successful domestic program because it has pulled millions of seniors out of poverty. If we had turned Social Security funds over to the whims of the stock market in 2006, it would have been a disaster for seniors when the markets crashed.”

Kaine later took questions from the audience on a range of topics, including the economy, how to find common ground in Washington, and ways to reduce the federal deficit.

Kaine closed the event by discussing the fiscal challenges we face. Instead of pledges to Washington lobbyists that inhibit consensus, Kaine has advocated a balanced approach of revenues and significant cuts to reduce the deficit. Kaine noted that Allen’s “all cuts” approach would threaten job growth in Virginia and devastate critical programs that support millions of Americans.