It would have been refreshing if the three GOP candidates from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District had broken with conservative orthodoxy about Social Security (“Republican congressional hopefuls seek changes in Social Security,” Sun Journal, July 7).

Unfortunately, Eric Brakey, Adrienne Bennett and Dale Crafts have bought into longstanding falsehoods that threaten to undermine this nation’s oldest and most successful social insurance program. They also are seriously out of step with the public on this issue. Poll after poll shows that voters across party lines and age groups want Social Security protected, without benefit cuts.

The 344,000 Mainers on Social Security cannot afford a reduction in benefits, now or in the future. Instead, Congress can increase revenue flowing into the system, mostly by asking the wealthy to begin paying their fair share in payroll taxes (currently capped at $137,700 in annual wages).

Contrary to the 2nd District GOP contenders’ claims, Social Security will be there for today’s younger workers if voters elect members of Congress who pledge to protect and strengthen Social Security — not cut and privatize it.

Max Richtman, president and CEO

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Washington, D.C.

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