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Challenger to U.S. Rep. Mike Honda sidesteps Social Security in kick-off at DA2 min read

Taye Marshall, Staff Writer

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Last Sunday former Obama White House cabinet official and Stanford educator Ro Khanna announced his campaign at a rally in the Sunken Gardens at De Anza for the 17th Congressional District, which encompasses a large part of Silicon Valley including Cupertino.

A crowd of 200 volunteers and supporters cheered as the youthful and exuberant Democrat announced he was running to help break the gridlock that has crippled politics in Washington.

“We need representatives that are willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground,” Khanna said.

Should Khanna win the election next year against the popular incumbent Mike Honda, questions remain over how far he would be willing to reach compromise with the Republican Party.

In exchange to pass his agenda, President Obama has introduced a budget that will radically reduce social insurance benefits to the aging population by recalculating the cost of living, potentially threatening those on Social Security most at risk of falling into poverty.

When asked where he stood on cutting social security benefits, Khanna danced around the question.

“I don’t think we ought to be cutting benefits that have been promised to current seniors,” Khanna said.

A popular talking point, “keeping promises to current seniors” is what most Democrats say when they don’t want to be held accountable for wanting to cut social insurance benefits.

A majority of the country favors preserving social security and trusts the Democratic Party more with entitlement programs over Republicans, who want to severely privatize them at the expense of society’s
most vulnerable.

If you think that the Social Security issue does not affect you because you are far from retirement, think again.  If you are a wage earner, you are paying into the system and basically putting money into a fund that will hopefully be there for you in the future.

As students, we are living in precarious times of uncertain job markets, rising costs of living and inescapable student debt, and we have to ask ourselves if there will be a social safety net should things take a turn for the worse.

Honda believes that the new calculation “lowers earned Social Security benefits and would institute compounded benefit cuts that would hurt future retirees harder as time goes on,” according to his Facebook page. “We should be working together to make Social Security stronger not weaker.”

Honda has exhibited the type of leadership the Democratic Party needs on one of its core issues. His proven track record on the social compact is consistent, not compromising.

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