Our nation’s Social Security system celebrated its 79th anniversary on Thursday, and Alliance members commemorated the important event by throwing more than 30 birthday parties across the country with cake and balloons. Celebrations focused on the long term success of the Social Security system and the need to expand the program in order to meet the needs of current and future retirees.
"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
With Medicare celebrating its 49th birthday last week and Social Security’s 79th birthday coming up on Thursday, August 14th, Alliance members have been holding celebrations across the country in honor of the retirement security programs.
On Wednesday, Alliance members held more than 50 events in cities across the country in honor of Medicare’s 49th anniversary. The celebrations kicked off the Medicare Turns 50 Campaign leading up to next year’s 50th anniversary.
On Thursday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled a new proposal to overhaul federal anti-poverty programs and shift more control to individual states. Under Ryan’s plan, most of the federal government’s anti-poverty programs, including food stamps and housing vouchers, would be consolidated into a single program that would be overseen more closely at the state level.
On Wednesday, Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, teamed up with several Members of Congress, the Center for Effective Government, and other advocacy organizations to draw attention to older unemployed jobseekers.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) coverage, which workers earn through Social Security payroll tax contributions, provides benefits to 8.9 million disabled American workers and 1.9 million dependent children of disabled workers. On Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Alliance Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez were featured speakers at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress focusing on the importance of SSDI.
The anti-union organization, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation – funded by the Koch and Walton families and others – brought the Harris v. Quinn suit. Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, said, “Corporations, the Koch brothers and their extremist allies continue to pursue anti-retiree, anti-worker legislation in the states and in the courts. Instead of using the courts to take away the rights of working Americans like caregivers, we must reduce income and wealth inequality and enhance Americans’ economic security in both working years and in retirement.”
Late last week, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Carolyn W. Colvin to lead the Social Security Administration (SSA).
On Wednesday, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing to look at the impact of recent Social Security field office closures and service cuts.
In a sign that the push to expand Social Security is continuing to build support, on Wednesday Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements (RAISE) Act. The RAISE Act would enhance Social Security benefits for widows, widowers, and divorced spouses while extending benefit eligibility for children of retired, disabled, and deceased workers.