Harkin: Don't Cut Social Security in Deficit Deal

Sen. Charles Schumer D-N.Y., and Sen. Tom Harkin D-Iowa, speak during a news conference as they speak about the fiscal cliff plan proposed by House Speaker John Boehner on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)


By Rachel Begle

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says President Barack Obama should not include cuts to Social Security in any agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Harkin told reporters Wednesday that Social Security benefits should not be cut to reduce the nation's budget deficit since the program is funded separately. He says Obama should stand firm because "the vast majority of the American people are on our side on this."

In negotiations with House Speaker John Boehner, Obama has agreed to adopt a method of calculating inflation that would slow the growth of Social Security benefits.

Harkin says he's concerned that Obama has also proposed raising taxes on incomes over $400,000, instead of the $250,000 level he campaigned on. Harkin says voters gave Obama a mandate for the $250,000 level.

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