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Letter: Cramer using 'opportunity' to gut Social Security

One hundred twenty-two thousand, eighty-four (122,084) North Dakotans receive Social Security benefits, including 7,848 children.

North Dakotans over the age of 65 have spent their working lives supporting this program. Widowed parents and guardians of those 7,848 children rely on Social Security to help provide for their children's basic needs. Social Security is the most humane program ever created. But Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., sees Social Security as another political bargaining chip.

Kevin Cramer is one of 51 radical Tea Party Republicans who signed a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, asking he make Social Security part of the negotiations in raising the debt ceiling. These radicals called Social Security "an opportunity."

An opportunity, Congressman Cramer? What kind of an opportunity are you looking for? The opportunity to do to Social Security what you've already done to the farm bill, Congressman Cramer? The opportunity to cut benefits for retired and disabled constituents? The opportunity to cut benefits for baby boomers who will soon receive benefits? The opportunity to gut a program you and your fellow radical Republicans have never believed in?

Congressman Cramer will claim that he only wants to make modest reforms to Social Security, but remember this is the same guy who voted to cut $40 billion from food assistance to low-income seniors, children and veterans.

This is a guy who rails against government but who continues to take home his government paycheck during the shutdown he started. He's the same guy who also claims that his $174,000 congressional salary doesn't give him much disposable income.

Social Security works. Then again, food assistance works and the farm bill worked, too, but that didn't stop Cramer from trying to gut these programs.

North Dakotans beware. We can't trust Kevin Cramer.

David Funston,