Social Security On The Chopping Block In New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s New Plan

Major cuts to Social Security were called for by the governor of New Jersey and prospective president candidate in 2016 Chris Christie. Christie has also called for substantial cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and disability insurance.

Christie spoke at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College on Tuesday. He spoke about what he would do as president if elected.

Christie said,

“Washington refuses to acknowledge that we have a crisis on our hands. We need to force them to acknowledge the crisis and fix it.”

The Social Security cuts are part of a plan to cut the deficit by $1 trillion over a decade. Christie called for reduced benefits for seniors eligible for Social Security who earn more than $80,000 annually. He also went on to call for Social Security benefits to be completely eliminated for those who earn more than $200,000 annually.

Christie also wants to raise the age of retirement from 67 years old to 69 years old. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the plan would not affect those who are currently retired or those who are soon-to-be retired. According to Christie, the plan would be beneficial for generations to come,

“Every other national priority will be sacrificed, our economic growth will grind to a complete halt and our national security will be put at even greater risk.”

Christie even acknowledged that many politicians, as well as everyday Americans, would critize his plans for Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

Christie said,

“I know some in both political parties will criticize these ideas, These are the truths you all know in your gut. I want to give voice to those common sense truths that we already know.”

Some political analysts have stated that Christie is taking a major risk to his potential presidential campaign by proposing these kinds of huge cuts to Social Security. Terry Holt, a Republican strategist was supportive of Christie’s plans to overhaul Social Security, despite the political risk the governor is taking.

“More and more pre-retirement Americans think Social Security is a dream that won’t come true, unless common sense changes can be made,- His proposals make sense and he gets credit for not being afraid to tackle a tough issue.”

Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have spoken out against Christie’s plans for Social Security. Republican Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is one such opponent of the plan, saying,

“I’m not for that,- To get any changes to Social Security, you need bipartisan cooperation. I don’t think we could get that.”

Though Kirk was not completely against the idea of overhauling Social Security, other political figures have been. New Jersey Democratic U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, a member of the U.S. House committee which oversees Social Security benefits, spoke out against Christie’s plan, saying,

“One of the most unpopular governors in the country is unveiling what will soon become one of the most unpopular entitlement reform plans, Governor Christie has decided that the only way to rein in entitlement spending is on the backs of seniors. This couldn’t be more wrong.”

Chris Christie has not yet announced if he would run for president in 2016. As reported by the Huffington Post when asked in a recent interview about his potential opponent on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, Christie was confident that he would win over her in an election.

Christie is now serving his second term as governor of New Jersey. He has served as governor since 2010.

[Photo Credit: Bob Jagendorf/Flickr]