SALISBURY, MD — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) Thursday visited Salisbury and met with leaders of the Eastern Shore’s faith-based community and participated in a forum on Social Security and Medicare at Salisbury University. Senator Cardin discussed the recently enacted budget agreement, saying, the budget agreement “was not perfect,” but that he supported it because it avoided a default.
“I have concerns that it may not provide appropriate balance to solving our long-term deficit and debt problem and I’m troubled by the lack of additional revenue measures, including closing tax loopholes for millionaires and subsidies for oil companies already making record profits,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Budget and Finance committees. “But we had a responsibility to act. Default on our debt for the first time in our nation’s history was not an option.”
Senator Cardin also talked with the leaders of the faith-based community about the importance of partnering with government in providing services to Marylanders. “The faith-based community knows what issues are important to people, and I look forward to working with them to come up with innovative ideas that will help people on the Eastern Shore who are looking for work, job training or other assistance.”
At the Salisbury University forum on Social Security and Medicare, Senator Cardin discussed efforts to preserve and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. “We had a budget surplus in 2000 and Social Security and Medicare did not create the current budget crisis. We can only solve our budget problems with a balanced approach that looks at all options. I am hopeful that the Joint Committee will put politics aside for the good of our nation.”
The Senator stressed that we now must turn our attention to job creation. “Good paying jobs are the only way we are going to pull our nation out of this economic slowdown and that means investing in our future, particularly in education and training programs that will prepare Americans for jobs of the future.”
Senator Cardin discussed at length the budget compromise passed by Congress. It provides for nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction during the next 10 years. But, importantly, it protects domestic priorities by allowing more than $40 billion in discretionary domestic spending next year than was contained in the budget that passed the House.
The agreement also calls for at least an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction to be proposed by a Joint Congressional Committee and enacted by the end of the year. Automatic, across-the-board cuts are triggered if these additional reductions are not made. The budget deal balances these future cuts equally between defense and domestic programs, and – importantly – it protects Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries.