Social Security and Medicare Dog Local Race

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"That Mark Schauer is full of baloney!" is how the latest Tim Walberg ad begins. "You wouldn't do that to your mom."

In the ad, Republican challenger Walberg features his 94-year-old mother to make his case for Social Security.

"I've always supported Social Security and have worked to make it secure," he says in the ad.

But a competing advertisement, put out by incumbent Congressman Mark Schauer, says otherwise. In it, they run a clip of Walberg apparently saying, "I definitely support the privatization of so-called social security."

"Tim Walberg's own words are very clear. He says it himself," Schauer says to Monday. We met with him in Jackson to talk about what's becoming the central issue in the 7th Congressional district race.

"I'll be very clear. I'll do everything to protect social security and Medicare. I will oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare," Schauer says.

Schauer says Walberg wants people to pay into a Wall Street account to fund their Social Security, and wants to create a voucher program for Medicare.

In a written response, Walberg tells us: "Mark Schauer is misleading voters. Nothing would change for people age 55 and above, while younger workers would have the option to invest in their own account, which would be in their own name."

Either way, AARP says this race is shining a light on just how important these programs are.

"Before Social Security, 50 percent of our nation's seniors were living at or below poverty. With Social Security, that's dropped to 10 percent," says Michigan's AARP President Eric Scheidewind.

Older voters are paying close attention to the future of these programs.

"I don't know what I'd do without them," says Jerry Stassines of Napoleon Township.

"We depend on that when we reach a certain age," says 76-year-old James Mallory of Blackman Township. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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