PITTSBURGH, Penn. — Americans are talking, marching, storming congressional offices, petitioning, conducting town hall meetings and writing letters to save Social Security. Beneath the radar of headline news, the people have lit up the “third rail” of U.S. politics, Social Security, and Republicans and Democrats are both feeling the charge.
Determined to have their voices heard, 150 student government presidents signed a nonpartisan letter calling on Congress and the White House to protect Social Security. Representing hundreds of thousands of college students from all 50 states, the student leaders urged officials to consider the stake the younger generation has in defending Social Security.
Most Americans do not read The New York Times. But ideas expressed by its columnists make their way into mainstream discussions. Recently, two columnists weighed in with arguments related to Social Security.
Bush got a rocky welcome to Denver, March 21, in the 17th stop on his 60-city, election-style campaign to sell the privatization of Social Security.
Three years before President Franklin Roosevelt enacted Social Security, the Communist Party issued a pamphlet saying: “Social insurance is a system of government support to give workers financial assistance, thus affording them a measure of security in case of accident, sickness, death of the wage earner, unemployment, child bearing, or dependent old age. ... The fight for social insurance must go on because it is a fight for security in the daily struggle for existence faced by every member of the working class.”
CHICAGO — “Privatizing Social Security may be good business for Charles Schwab, but it’s a bad deal for working Americans,” Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon told the multiracial and multigenerational crowd of 300 that overflowed the sidewalk in front of the giant investment firm’s office here. “The stock market is a gamble,” Gannon continued, “I’ve got a mother who is 83, a daughter who is 22 and I’m 52. Privatization puts us all in jeopardy.”
DALLAS, ALBUQUERQUE, AND CLEVELAND: 'Hands Off Social Security'
WASHINGTON — Defenders of Social Security charged this week that a “means test” on Social Security as proposed by President George W. Bush would inflict huge benefit cuts for 70 percent of recipients, clearing the way to destroy the system vital to Americans’ economic security.