This week marks the 79th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act as part of the historic New Deal. President Roosevelt expanded on the Christian idea that we have a moral obligation to take care of those in need, instituting a program that more than 55 million Americans rely on today. Our older neighbors have contributed a lifetime to providing for this intergenerational promise, so it is unfathomable that some politicians would have the gall to strip Social Security benefits and then run for office on the promise to protect the program.

I am specifically raising concerns about Congressman Bill Cassidy’s judgment regarding this issue. His support of radical House budgets would raise the age at which older Americans would be able to collect Social Security benefits to 70 years old, while cutting those benefits by tens of thousands of dollars. So many of my parishioners count on Social Security as retirement income. They are active in the community, and it is because of them that our town’s spirit is vibrant. It breaks my heart that they may have to cut back on basic groceries, health needs or attending community events for fear of going over budget.

All this combined with voting to turn Medicare into a voucher system and dramatically increasing health care costs as well just so millionaires and billionaires can line their pockets with large tax breaks is just too egregious.

I was raised to love thy neighbor and always try to practice and preach the same principle in my life. But politicians like Bill Cassidy seem to act exactly the opposite. Their ruthless and extreme positions scream “cut ’em off by the knees.”

And now he seems to be employing double-speak by falsely accusing Senator Landrieu of these heinous measures, while at the same time asking for our votes.

I would like to believe Rep. Cassidy is a good man, but I would humbly ask him to pray over this callous decision to force Louisiana seniors to keep working until they turn 70 before they can retire with their full Social Security benefits. In light of all this and especially on this anniversary of Social Security, I strongly urge him to reconsider his positions and think of his fellow man, because he who hates justice cannot govern.

John Sanders