04 August 2010

Social Security's 75th Birthday Festivities Begin

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Democratic Leaders, and House Democrats held a press event last week on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law on August 14, 1935. At the event, the Speaker blasted Republicans for trying to privatize Social Security, saying the change would have resulted in the trust fund incurring a massive loss due to the downturn in the stock market.

Earlier in Las Vegas, at the "Netroots Nation" convention, the Speaker said that she is opposed to raising the retirement age. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has said that he favors raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.

More than 60 groups, including the Alliance for Retired Americans, announced the creation of the coalition "Strengthen Social Security…Don't Cut It." The new group is launching a major mobilization to push back against Fiscal Commission assertions, backed by the Wall Street spin machine, that claim Social Security is a major component of the budget deficit and is teetering on the brink of disaster.

In a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the group outlined plans to build support in Congress to fight benefits cuts and press candidates this election to push back against any move to raise the retirement age or privatize the program. "We are united by our concerns over the new Fiscal Commission, which operates in virtual secrecy and with a fundamentally flawed understanding of how Social Security is financed and operates. There is no government financial commitment at all. Every dime comes from workers and employers," Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, said at the event.

The new group's web site is HERE . For more information, go to the AFL-CIO blog Here. For photos of the press conference, go HERE. For a new Alliance document on Social Security Disability Insurance, go HERE.

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