Quick Hit Aricka Flowers Tuesday September 21st, 2010, 10:28am

Seals Picks Up Senior Supporters; Dold Parties With The Tea Partiers

Democratic candidate for Illinois' 10th Congressional District, Dan Seals, picked up two additional endorsements -- the Alliance for Retired Americans and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare -- recently as he traveled throughout his district to hear from seniors about their political concerns. Seals says he will not support efforts to privatize Social Security and would prefer to improve the system. From a statement:

I remain firmly committed to protecting Social Security, and I do not support any cuts to seniors’ benefits at this time.  The Social Security Administration Trustees have stated that the system will be solvent for another 27 years, so there is no need for drastic action today.  In the future, we will need to consider how to strengthen the system for future generations.  At that time, instead of raising the cap on how much income can be taxed for Social Security, I would support asking America’s wealthiest retirees–those who do not depend on Social Security to get by–to accept a reduced benefit.  That’s because the millionaire does not need as much support as does the person who made $25,000 a year.  Again, this is not a step we need to take right now, but one to consider in years to come.

Americans generally support reducing Social Security benefits on the wealthy, although removing the cap on income exempt from Social Security payroll taxes is more popular and could largely close the anticipated shortfall. GOP candidate Robert Dold, meanwhile, has hinted that he supports efforts to privatize the system gradually, including U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) controversial Roadmap for America. That idea makes Americans "very uncomfortable."

Seals and Dold are expected to take part in two debates this week, one of which is sponsored by AARP. Dold may have to answer questions about his attendance Friday night at a rally thrown by Tea Party front group Americans for Prosperity.

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