Social Security’s 75th birthday spurs “Hands off” campaign


NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The hot summer is heating up even more as the fight to preserve and extend Social Security becomes a front-burner issue in the 2010 elections. As Medicare turns 45 and Social Security turns 75, birthday parties in support are being organized across the country.

In Connecticut, the 35,000-member CT Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) is hosting two events with congressional representatives, as part of a national effort across the country. Birthday postcards will be sent to Congress warning against any recommendations to cut Social Security as a solution to the national debt.

"It is important to have a good turnout to show that Social Security is something we all believe is so important to the American way of life, that it needs to be preserved, not threatened," says Connecticut ARA organizer Mary Elia.

The ARA is one of 60 national groups that formed a "Strengthen Social Security - Don't Cut It" coalition this week aimed at educating the public about the benefits of our nation's most successful social program. It is estimated that without Social Security, 47 percent of elderly households, 55 percent of disabled workers, and 1.3 million children would be thrust into poverty.

On Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center participants will share cake and ice cream with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and get prepared to spread the message that Social Security is not to blame for the deficit and should be preserved and strengthened.

One week later, on Wednesday Aug. 18 ,at 12:30 p.m., participants will enjoy a luncheon buffet with Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., at the West Hartford Senior Center. Larson will deliver a keynote address followed by questions and answers at the ARA co-sponsored event.

At the conclusion of each program, those present will tell their stories on video camera to be posted on the national ARA website.

In a resolution prepared for the upcoming political convention of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, the ARA emphasizes that Social Security, self-financed through payroll contributions, "is not part of the nation's deficit and debt problem." The resolution pinpoints "trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich and corporations" as a cause of the budget crisis and calls for a large-scale information campaign.

Larson, whose district includes Hartford, one of the poorest cities in the nation, spoke on the House floor this week with passion "to stand firmly behind Social Security and its benefits to all of the American people." Referring to Republican proposals to return to former President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, he said, "Can you imagine, had the Bush tax cuts gone through, had the Bush proposal for Social Security gone through, what would have happened to so many of our citizens during this great recession? People who rely solely on Social Security would not have anywhere to turn to."

National ARA Executive Director Ed Coyle, speaking at the press conference of the Strengthen Social Security coalition, emphasized, "We are united against any cuts in benefits, such as increases in the retirement age, and to any form of privatization of Social Security." Referring to the president's bi-partisan budget deficit commission, he said, "We will stand united if the commission calls for any cuts to Social Security. We are launching a major lobbying campaign for Congress to block their recommendations."

At the Peoples Center here, while planning for the birthday parties, two retired union members recalled how Social Security was the lifeline for their family after the loss of a parent. Others spoke of the fact that their Social Security check, for which they paid into the fund during their working life, is their only means of income. The Peoples Center was formed in 1937 by leaders in the struggle for Social Security, just two years after the bill was enacted into law. For more information call 203-624-8664.

Photo: PW


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  • It is absolutely incredible that our own goverment is now about to cut our checks to pay for this war and other things that are going on with out the approval of the American people. Do we go after the billionaires who stoled all their money like Halliburton (by any other name Cheney' s still a scam artist) HELL NO! Do we go after the guys who made billions on the housing meltdown ? HELL NO! Do we even say it is a crime to package dirty bonds that have no chance of pay out and then bet for them to loose! HELL NO! Billions and Billions of the American people's dollars are being taken by scam and outright theft by our very politicians who are planning on cutting our money and does anyone call them on the greed and bribes HELL NO! When the multi millionaires who run our country think it is ok to steal the very safety net protecting the most vulnerable of our citizens including me we are in trouble! We are living in an age of the Emperor wears no clothes and nobody is willing to point out that this is insane. I have heard repeatedly this will never happen, not in my country. The very fact that this is even be discussed by the people we elected is outrageous! The fact that we are not more outraged at the billions and billions of dollars being siphoned off daily in graft, greed, scams and outright theft is very scary. The fact that people are not marching in the streets by the millions right now to take back our country is unbelievable. The only group that is making any real noise at all is Sarah Palien, the fox news millionaires/billionaires pretending to be one of the "folks" and all of the Tea Parters who are being led by the ring in their noses by all of the previous mentioned along with the very people who are running the show. I would like to think that the cutting of social security checks will create such an outrage that things will turn around. Sadly I do not see that happening.

    Posted by Sheila Malone, 08/11/2010 2:02am (6 years ago)

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