By Henry Scott Wallace, James Roosevelt Jr. and Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall

Republican Mehmet Oz rightly observed during a Senate debate with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman that Social Security is something American workers have “paid” for their entire working lives and must be protected.

But Pennsylvanians should know that Republican leaders have the exact opposite views if Oz wins and they take over the Senate in the Nov. 8 midterms.

What do the leaders of the national republican party propose? U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, D-Florida, who chairs the Senate Republican Caucus, wants to end Social Security and Medicare.

He offers terminate both programs after five years, in a detailed plan rail against “socialism” and praise privatization. Social Security and Medicare, and the payroll tax that funds them, will only continue if Congress can agree on how to restore them. Congress will have full discretion to cut them, privatize them, turn them into unearned benefits, or allow them to “go bankrupt.”

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This discussion is very important to us. Our grandfathers – President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Vice President Henry A. Wallace – along with Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins, created the Social Security system that funded Medicare. Wallace helped Perkins develop Social Security.

FDR said the payroll tax was the key to Social Security’s success: It gave workers “a legal, moral, and political right to receive their pensions and unemployment benefits. With taxes like that, no goddamn politician will ever be able to get rid of my welfare program.”

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower was the same stupid. There may be a “tiny splinter group” of politicians willing to tinker with Social Security, he wrote, but “they are few and far between and stupid.”

U radio interviewOz called Scott one of the Senate’s greatest role models and praised his “game plan” and “vision,” which he found “very clear.”

The head of the Republican National Committee gave her Scott’s plan official approvalpraising it for being “full of real solutions”.

None of Pennsylvania’s Republican members of Congress condemned it. Even the most “moderate” of them, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1st District, has sponsored constitutional amendment that would forcibly cuts Social Security and Medicareand proudly extols the reward he received from the false man A Koch-funded “astroturf” group that deals with the privatization of welfare.

This is dangerous nonsense. Since its birth, Social Security has been denounced by Republicans as “socialism.” But it is the opposite; is an earned, paid-in Social Security policy that has become the most popular federal program ever almost universal support among Americans of all ages and political parties.

Three million Pennsylvanians receive social security assistance.

More than a fifth of all Pennsylvanians are covered by Medicare. Every active worker in the commonwealth pays a 6.2 percent “FICA” payroll tax on each paycheck to both programs, which is matched by another 6.2 percent from the employer. Countless other young Pennsylvanians have had their financial burdens eased when Social Security and Medicare benefits are transferred to an older family member.

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The obvious question, then, is not how to betray the promise of Social Security, but how to improve it. The simplest solution comes from the little-known fact that the richer you are, the less tax you pay. Income in excess of $147,000 per year is fully exempt. Abolish this cap and make the rich pay the same rate as everyone else. Use additional revenue to improve benefits and services and strengthen long-term solvency.

We just celebrated the 87th birthday of FDR signing the Social Security Act. It touches the lives of every working American and has saved millions from the “poor house.” For generations, it has been proof that government can and should be a force for good in the lives of ordinary Americans. This is a promise that we, in the spirit of our New Deal forefathers, believe is worth not only preserving, but also strengthening.

Henry Scott Wallace of Doylestown, Bucks County, is the grandson of Henry A. Wallace, FDR’s Vice President and Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, and is running for Congress in 2018 in Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District. district. James Roosevelt, Jr., grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration. Tomlin Perkins Kogesholt is the grandson of Francis Perkins, the Federal Minister of Labor and the founder of the Francis Perkins Center.