In an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid touched on the subjects of nuclear power, the tea party and, in the part of the interview that will probably get people on the right fired up, social security, which Reid absolutely refused to touch at all.
In regards to nuclear power, Reid said he was “not opposed to nuclear power but i think it’s something we need to take a real close look at” even in terms of national security.
“With what’s happened after the 9/11, it is a terrorist’s dream to have these spent fuel rods transported around the country.”
Unsurprisingly, Reid did not have much good to say about the Tea Party, predicting that they would be “short-lived.”
“I think you will find even the people that claim they’re Tea Party folks will either be gone as a result of their extreme positions or they will move to the more moderate position which is certainly not being a liberal, that is being a conservative. I think with the economy getting better, you’re going see less and less agitation from the Tea Party folks.”
When O’Donnell brought up making improvement to social security, Reid was adamant that it not be touched.
“I’ve said clearly, and as many times as I can, leave social security alone. Social security has not added a single penny, not a dime, a nickel, a dollar to the budget problems we have. Never has, and for the next 30 years it won’t do that. So what I’ve said, if we want to look at something to take care of the out years, let’s do it at the right time. It is not in crisis at this stage. Leave social security alone. We have a lot of other places we can look that is in crisis, but social security is not. I repeat, for the next approximately 30 years, people will draw 100% of their benefits. And if we do nothing after that, they will draw 80% of their benefits. Now I want to be sure in the out years, 30 years from now, everybody can draw 100% of benefits. That’s important. I believe in social security. I believe it is the most successful social program in the history of the world, but I am not going to balance the budget on the backs of seniors that paid into the fund and deserve their money.”
He also rejected the idea of Independent Senator Bernie Sanders to require a two-thirds vote for any major change to social security.
“I have enough trouble over here with what the Republicans have done to me the last few congresses with the filibuster. That’s 60. I don’t need now to start worrying about 67. Let’s jchange the subject, as much as I like Bernie, I will not support his legislation.”
“At this stage in the development of this country, I will not support tinkering with social security. It is not an emergency.”
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