FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) – With a little more than six weeks to go, the candidates for the 8th Congressional District are taking shots at each other over social security.
Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, a Democrat, is running against businessman Mike Gallagher for the seat being vacated by a retiring Representative Reid Ribble.
Attack ads are out in the race for the 8th Congressional seat and the disagreement over Social Security doesn’t end there.
On his four stop Social Security tour, Tom Nelson is standing by his claim that Mike Gallagher wants to eliminate social security.
According to Nelson, “He wants to systematically dismantle the program. He’s talked about reducing benefits to the poverty line. He’s talked about using a chained CPI index, and he’s actually talked about raising the retirement age.”
Gallagher, receiving the endorsement of the Wisconsin Grocers Association, says that’s simply not the truth and that Tom Nelson is lying.
“You don’t have to take my word for it, he just got fact checked by an independent organization. They called it just that, a lie,” says Gallagher. “And in response to that, what did he do? He didn’t back off, he didn’t say mea culpa, he doubled down and that just tells you something right there. In the Marine Corps we would call that dishonorable.”
Both candidates agree something needs to change to fix Social Security. While Gallagher opposes efforts to privatize the system, he wants people on both sides of the aisle to work together for a solution. He says, “I think this is a problem too big to be politicized. I think we need a bi-partisan approach and when I’m in Congress, I’m going to force Congress to have the discussion as opposed to just punting the problem.”
Meanwhile, Nelson simply thinks it can be fixed by assessing the wealthy more. Adding, “I think people who are making a million dollars a year versus a family of $40,000 a year, I think it’s only fair that more of their income should go toward contributing and shoring up Social Security.”
It’s a challenge the winner of the November election will face once in Washington.