strongly opposes these proposals [to divert Social Security
payroll taxes to private accounts]. Private accounts in
place of Social Security are risky, expensive to administer,
and require huge increases in the federal debt. AARP believes
there are better and more responsible ways to strengthen
the system. To compensate for the loss of Social Security
revenue sent into private accounts, the federal government
would have to borrow significant sums for the next several
decades in order to continue to pay promised benefits
to currently retiring beneficiaries. One prominent proposal
would require $1 billion in the first 10 years the private
accounts were in place. Then, $3.5 trillion would be needed
in the following decade. Younger workers would have to
bear much of the burden for paying this debt. That's not
right, and it's not fair to them. Social Security is an
insurance program, not an investment program. The essence
of Social Security is that it has always been risk-free
for all of us. It's also inflation-proof - something neither
investments, nor even many pensions, can guarantee. Private
accounts within Social Security would add a large measure
of personal risk. AARP has publicly stated many times
that there are places in retirement planning that are
appropriate for taking risks, such as 401(k) plans, Individual
Retirement Accounts, and mutual funds, but they should
be in addition to the guarantee of Social Security."
would love to see a march on Washington that says
'Save our Social Security'.
organized and fought for worker rights and food safety,
Social Security and Medicare - they fought to change government.
And they won.
-- Sherrod Brown
Social Security program is a pact between workers
and their employers that they will contribute to
a common fund to ensure that those who are no longer
part of the work force will have a basic income
on which to live. It represents our commitment as
a society to the belief that workers should not
live in dread that a disability, death, or old age
could leave them or their families destitute."
(December 20, 1977)
I want to talk about Social Security and how all
of us can ensure that one of the greatest achievements
of this century continues to serve our people well
into the next. . . . For 60 years, Social Security
has meant more than an ID number on a tax form;
more than a monthly check in the mail. It reflects
our deepest values -- our respect for our parents
and our belief that all Americans deserve to retire
Clinton (March 21, 1998)
system is not intended as a substitute for private
savings, pension plans, and insurance protection.
It is, rather, intended as the foundation upon which
these other forms of protection can be soundly built.
Thus, the individual's own work, his planning and
his thrift will bring him a higher standard of living
upon his retirement, or his family a higher standard
of living in the event of his death, than would
otherwise be the case. Hence the system both encourages
thrift and self-reliance, and helps to prevent destitution
in our national life."
to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits
are unacceptable, and they shouldn't be put on the
table by Democrats for any reason.
is with great satisfaction that I have signed into
law the Social Security Amendments of 1961. They
represent an additional step toward eliminating
many of the hardships resulting from old-age, disability,
or the death of the family wage earner. . . . A
Nation's strength lies in the well being of its
people. The social security program plays an important
part in providing for families, children, and older
persons in time of stress, but it cannot remain
static. Changes in our population, in our working
habits, and in our standard of living require constant
F. Kennedy (June 30, 1961)
Security is a social insurance program - it is not
designed to be the same thing as a 401(k)."
of all, the Social Security money belongs to Main
Street, not to Wall Street. It needs to be said
very clearly here that privatization is off the
table... Social Security, as a matter of fact, is
a better investment now than the stock market. Thereís
a higher return. Thereís guaranteed cost-of-living
increases. Privatization you have to worry about
the value of your account.
are reneging on pension obligations. Social Security
is under attack.
up America! The insurance companies took over health care!
Wake up America! The pharmaceutical companies took over
Wake up America! The speculators took over Wall Street!
Wake up America! They want your Social Security!
Wake up America! Multinational corporations took over
our trade policies!
Wake up America! We went into Iraq for oil! WAKE UP AMERICA!"
various Social Security privatization schemes, full
and partial, would cost both the 'social' - that is
the public, cooperative, societal - element of the
program and 'security' - the rock-solid income guarantee
afforded by the system. It should be rejected."
Security has been effective for 70 years; prior predictions
of its demise have been totally overstated.
Social Security is specifically designed to boost the
retirement income of low earners with a progressive benefit
formula, the program has played an enormous and necessary
role in keeping Latinas out of poverty.
- Grace Napolitano
without reforms, the Social Security fund will be able
to meet 100 percent of its obligations until 2042.
- Grace Napolitano
myths and misconceptions have contributed to the belief
that Social Security is in imminent danger and that Social
Security privatization is the answer. Nothing could be
further from the truth. The reality is that Social Security
will continue to provide millions of retirees a sound,
stable retirement. It may require some modest adjustments
over a period of time, but it does not face an insurmountable
crisis requiring major structural changes. Privatization,
on the other hand, will unravel Social Security's important
insurance protections, force huge cuts in benefits, increase
risks to retirees, and cost trillions of dollars. Social
Security has been providing Americans a secure retirement
for nearly three quarters of a century. With sensible
action it can continue to provide that security for decades
- National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
(NCPSSM) Feb. 2008
have been adamant in saying that Social Security
should not be privatized and it will not be privatized
as long as I'm President. And hereís the reason.
I was opposed to it before the financial crisis.
And what I said was the purpose of Social Security
is to have that floor, that solid -- rock-solid
security, so that no matter what else happens youíve
always got some income to support you in your retirement.
And I've got no problem with people investing in
their 401(k)s, and we want to encourage people to
invest in private savings accounts. But Social Security
has to be separate from that... So hereís the thing.
Social Security is not in crisis. What is happening
is, is that the population is getting older, which
means we've got more retirees per worker than we
used to. We're going to have to make some modest
adjustments in order to strengthen it. There are
some fairly modest changes that could be made without
resorting to any newfangled schemes that would continue
Social Security for another 75 years, where everybody
would get the benefits that they deserve."
was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what
we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the
minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security,
Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class
security all bear the union label.
us be clear about our choice. When we raise taxes
on the wealthiest Americans, no one dies. When we
cut Social Security and Medicare, people die.
social security in trouble? No. In fact it needs
expanding! If wealthy Americans pay their fair share,
tomorrow's seniors will get the Social Security
need to expand Social Security to prevent the looming
retirement crisis, and we can do it simply by asking
billionaires to pay their fair share.
"This law represents a cornerstone in a structure
which is being built but is by no means completed--a
structure intended to lessen the force of possible
future depressions, to act as a protection to future
administrations of the Government against the necessity
of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the
needy--a law to flatten out the peaks and valleys
of deflation and of inflation--in other words, a law
that will take care of human needs and at the same
time provide for the United States an economic structure
of vastly greater soundness."
D. Roosevelt (August 14, 1935)
the average Social Security benefit is $1328 a month,
and more than one-third of our senior citizens rely
on Social Security for Virtually all of their income,
our job is to expand benefits, not cut them."
drove us into debt with two wars and the Bush tax
cuts. Now they want to pay for that debt with cuts
to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This
is not only immoral it is bad economics. Why do
Republicans always have money for war but not for
those in need?"
is ironic that in a democracy where all are free
and enjoy equal rights, we must also have laws --
equal responsibilities -- so that the rights and
freedom of others are protected. However, in a democracy,
laws must also be fair, clearly defined, and applied
equally to all members of the society -- both citizens
people are starting to think of "entitlements' as 'extra
unearned luxuries' that should be taken away during hard
times. But the definition of an entitlement is a right
that is granted by law or by nature, to which all are
guaranteed access. True entitlements are basic needs not
luxury items. When politicians insist on cutting 'entitlements'
they need to ensure that only luxuries are on the cutting
block not basic needs.
have forgotten the basic SOCIAL CONTRACT of rights and
responsibilities that binds us together as a society.
Society expects citizens to follow laws it has instated
in order to protect individuals and institutions. Without
these laws there would be chaos -- the strong would simply
take anything they wanted and the rest would have no recourse.
In return the social contract guarantees that if people
follow these rules or responsibilities they will be guaranteed
basic rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
A guarantee of life ensures they will have access to basic
human needs of water, food and shelter needed to live
and to support their family. Liberty involves the ability
to engage in activities the individual wishes, as long
as it does not violate the law. The pursuit of happiness
is a guarantee that the laws are meant to be fair and
provide an equal playing field for all members of society,
so that through hard work and creative enterprise, all
law-abiding citizens are free to strive to attain the
wants and desires they believe will bring them happiness.
Entitlements are not handouts you see,
Itís your rights in a free society.
Law is a social contract,
Says if you abide it youíll get back
All that you need.
Has nothing to do with greed.
So donít let them take away
What you need to be free today
ďThe result [Republicans winning the Senate] would
be devastating for reproductive choice, the environment,
civil liberties, Social Security and health care,
as well as corporate accountability.Ē
should be talking about expanding Social Security
benefits; not cutting them."