Washington has no shortage of crisis these days. Congress is currently in Washington trying to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. There are multibillion dollar bills for farm aid and Hurricane Sandy relief. Yet Senator Lindsey Graham is threatening to push America back into a devastating recession by holding up the debt ceiling without a guarantee of raising the retirement age for Social Security. Most economists say that without a deal to raise the debt ceiling the American economy will suffer a more devastating recession than the 2008 financial crisis.
The debt ceiling must be raised by February in order to prevent the looming economic catastrophe. The last time Republicans held up a deal on the debt ceiling the economic uncertainty caused a massive drop in the stock markets and caused the ratings agencies to lower America’s credit rating. The Congressional Budget Office further released a study saying that a failure to raise the debt ceiling will spark a new recession in 2013.
Senator Graham in an interview with Fox News Sunday said:
“I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling unless we get serious about keeping the country from becoming Greece, saving Social Security and Medicare [sic]. So here’s what i would like: meaningful entitlement reform — not to turn Social Security into private accounts, not to take a voucher approach to Medicare — but, adjust the age for Social Security, CPI changes and means testing and look beyond the ten-year window. I cannot in good conscience raise the debt ceiling without addressing the long term debt problems of this country and I will not.”
The retirement age for Social Security currently stands at 65 years old. Senator Graham is proposing radical changes to the program in addition to raising the retirement age. Social Security has become a frequent target for Republicans who are wary of income generation through cuts to defense spending or raising taxes.
Watch the video of Graham threatening to hold up the Debt ceiling bill.