We have a very clear choice ahead of us. On one hand Senator Obama pledges to protect and preserve Social Security. On the other, Senator McCain calls the program an "absolute disgrace" and vows to push for Bush's failed agenda of handing the program over to Wall Street.
Recently, I wrote of the current catastrophic economic situation and asked the simple question of whether people would feel secure having their retirement income linked to General Motors and answered it, "of course not". No person in their right mind would want that. I would urge that no person in their right mind would propose such a ludicrous notion. I suspect that those who have, are not in their right minds.
Yesterday a telephone press conference hosted by Americans United For Change, union, retiree and activist leaders outlined plans to keep voters informed of McCain’s support of privatization and the wide gap between his and Obama’s proposals for Social Security.
Said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney:
The American people understand the importance of Social Security. They roundly rejected President Bush’s attempt to privatize the program.
This month, John McCain made clear he doesn’t understand how Social Security works, and over the course of his career, he has demonstrated that he would seize any opportunity to weaken the program and jeopardize its benefits.
Joining Sweeney on the call were AFSCME President Gerald McEntee; Ed Coyle, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans; and USAction President William McNary. McEntee, who chairs the AFL-CIO Political Committee, puts it this way:
The American people need Social Security benefits they can count on—benefits that aren’t subject to the highs and lows of the stock market or the partisan proposals of politicians. At a time of market uncertainty and economic distress, only a politician as out-of-touch as John McCain would suggest that now is the time to gamble with Social Security.
Americans United For Change plans to use its Bush Legacy Bus tour, now crisscrossing the United States, to let voters know about the dangers of the Bush/McCain privatization scheme and has unveiled an aggressive new online petition drive urging McCain to abandon his support for the Bush privatization plan. The other groups announced plans to mobilize their members at events nationwide to highlight the differences between Obama’s plans to strengthen Social Security and McCain’s privatization proposals.
Coyle noted that some 42 million Americans—seniors, widows, widowers, the disabled and young children who’ve lost a parent—receive Social Security. Privatizing Social Security would amount to throwing their checks onto the “roulette wheel” of the stock market, he said.
Social Security has kept millions out of poverty, and is one our nation’s greatest success stories. Our nation’s retirees are suffering from skyrocketing gasoline, grocery and health care prices. They see the turbulence of our financial markets, and worry about plans, advocated by McCain, to throw a privatized Social Security system on to this roulette wheel.
Learn more about Obama’s record on Social Security at the Meet Barack Obama site and check out McCain’s support of privatization at McCain Revealed. Click here to sign the American United For Change petition to McCain.