Spencer Bachus visits PelhamPublished 3:26pm Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, encouraged bipartisan partnership to help overcome the country’s national debt issues during a March 27 visit to the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.
Bachus’ comments came during a Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Civic Complex.
During the lunch, Bachus said the United States is “spending more money than we are bringing in,” and said growing government programs such as Medicare and Social Security are causing challenges with the nation’s budget.
The largest expenses in the country’s budget are Medicare at $814 billion, Social Security at $777 billion and defense spending at $665 billion.
“By far they are the two programs that, from a financial standpoint, are rapidly increasing,” Bachus said.
Bachus said America’s balance between retirees and young workers is skewed, and said the country’s birth rates are falling.
“We are not replacing our population, and a country that does not replace its population will stagnate,” Bachus said.
Bachus said the nation’s number of retirees and those on Social Security disability has risen steadily over the years. About 5 million people were on Social Security disability in 2000, compared to 8.6 million today, he said.
“With Social Security disability, we have a horrible status quo. It’s unacceptable and we’ve got to put our foot down,” Bachus said. “That’s your retirement money. If we don’t do something about this, they are going to say ‘Well, you may have to take a little less or work a little longer.’
“We are going to have to sit down together and say ‘How can we solve our problem?’” Bachus added. “It’s not (the Democrats’) problem, it’s not (the Republicans’) problem, it’s our problem.”