Rubio's Plans to Dismantle Social Security, Medicare Intensify Retirement Security Crisis

May 13, 2014

For Immediate Release
May 13, 2014
Contact: Laura Markwardt – 608/354-5009


Advice to Rubio: “Respect Your Elders,” That Includes Social Security & Medicare

Today, Senator Marco Rubio insulted the American people by proposing that their most successful earned benefits program, Social Security, should be dismantled. Rubio’s plans to raise the retirement age and to privatize Social Security and Medicare would increase wealth inequality, transferring the only guarantees that most Americans have for a secure retirement to Wall Street bankers and insurance companies.

Rubio alleges his proposal to raise the retirement age would “account for the rise in life expectancy.” His Wall Street friends may be living longer, but life expectancy is powerfully tied to socioeconomic status; raising the retirement age harms minorities and low-wage workers – people who rely on Social Security in great part for their retirement income and contribute steadily through their working years.

Our Social Security system is the foundation of our retirement security and a basic protection for American families in the face of disability or death. Each generation has done its part to maintain its foundation for nearly 80 years, about twice Rubio’s age. Our Social Security system has been meticulously built to deal with population fluctuations of the baby boomers and beyond. Rubio’s calls to dismantle this fundamental program are, unfortunately, for the benefit of his Wall Street friends.

Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans said, "If Senator Rubio really cared about strengthening retirement security, he would join the effort to expand Social Security benefits as Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Linda Sanchez have proposed. If he really cared about addressing the retirement security crisis, and there is one, he would get on board with raising the minimum wage. Social Security benefits are based on wages. By calling Social Security ‘outdated,’ Senator Rubio shows how out of touch he is with the needs of current and future retirees.”

Tony Fransetta, President of the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans said, “Senator Rubio is once again politically posturing himself while ignoring the real needs of Florida retirees and working families. I am insulted that he is pitting older generations against younger ones and trying to convince my grandkids to settle for less than what they deserve, which is a secure retirement that they earn through their work.”
 
Rubio holds a 7% lifetime score in Congress according to the Alliance for Retired Americans Congressional Voting Record for 2013.

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