WASHINGTON — Lawmakers must address the trillions of dollars that make up the national debt and deficit without touching Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Sen. Chris Coons said Monday.
“I recognize that the art of politics is finding one that both parties can support,” Coons, D-Del., said of debt reduction aims while on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “But frankly, at the end of the day, Democrats are not going to cut benefits under Social Security.”
Coons said Congress needs “to find a way forward in the middle that balances revenue and spending in a positive way” following Fitch’s decision to downgrade the nation’s long-term debt this month.
The credit rating agency dropped U.S. long-term debt to AA+ from its AAA rating due in part to the drawn-out debt ceiling debate earlier this year.
Cutting benefits under Social Security and Medicare are non-starters for Democrats, said Coons, who said lawmakers must find a way to tame the debt and deficit “that includes revenue.”
“Most Republicans I’ve met with or spoken with will not consider revenue,” he said.
Coons added that he supports raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans to improve the sustainability of the programs as one possible path forward.