Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) discussed Social Security and the ideological differences of the two major political parties at a presentation sponsored by the GW College Democrats Wednesday in the Marvin Center ballroom.
Nadler, who served on the House Judiciary Committee throughout President Clinton’s impeachment trial, has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1992.
An enthusiastic audience of about 50 people turned out to hear Nadler’s speech, in which the importance of dispelling myths about the future of Social Security was one of the central issues. The congressman addressed fears about the fate of Social Security, which he said are caused mainly by Republican propaganda, before explaining his views on the destiny of the programs.
“Most Republicans believe that, because the baby boomers who make up the majority of working-age people today will retire and become dependent on government assistance, Social Security will run out,” Nadler said.
“The fact is that by the time the baby boomers retire, the productivity rate of our economy will have increased by more than enough to make up for the increase in government funding needed by all Americans who are dependent on Social Security,” he said.
Nadler also said conservative economists, who have forecasted problems for Social Security, have underestimated the predicted economic growth rate of the country, which will yield lower Social Security rates.
By stressing the importance of government assistance, Nadler expressed his views on how Democrats try to help people who can’t help themselves. The congressman said Republicans, who favor big business and little government intervention in the American economy, limit their views to issues that deal predominantly with personal morality.
Making references to birth control and abortion laws as well as gay and lesbian rights, the congressman said “the only place Republicans seem to ever support government intervention is in people’s bedrooms.”
“I thought what he said about Social Security was great,” said Andrew Agetstein, CDs events coordinator. “Since the purpose of the College Democrats is to motivate democratic involvement in government, it’s great to be able to have high-profile, big-name speakers like Congressman Nadler.”
While Nadler addressed other issues throughout the question and answer portion of the presentation, audience members said the message about Social Security stuck in their minds.
“I was glad to be able to hear an explanation of both of the two parties’ stands on Social Security, and I think it’s an important issue for people here at GW and all around the country,” said junior Aaron Myers. “Even if we don’t realize it today, it’s something that will affect all of us someday.”