04 October 2010

The Fight to Save Social Security Continues

Fiscal Commission Meets for the Fifth Time as NOW Confronts Alan Simpson

The President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, looking for ways to balance the federal budget, met for the fifth time on Wednesday, but hard decisions are not expected until after the November 2 elections. Social Security is one of several areas being considered by the panel for changes, and picketers outside the meeting demanded the commission keep its hands off the program.

A top target of protesters was Alan Simpson, the former Republican senator and now a co-chairman of the commission, who this summer described Social Security as "a milk cow with 310 million tits."

The National Organization for Women (NOW) has a new slogan: "Tits for an Ass," and NOW members arrived on Capitol Hill on Wednesday with 1,500 rubber baby bottle tops (nipples) and presented them to the Fiscal Commission as part of its campaign calling for the removal of Simpson. According to The Washington Post, NOW President Terry O'Neill told Simpson that she was giving him the nipples "in hopes that you'll have the decency to resign from the commission." When Simpson said that cutting Social Security had historically never happened, O'Neill responded, "Well let's hope that your efforts to make it happen now fail."

Members of Congress Hold Press Call to Announce, "Hands off Social Security"

Last Thursday, Alliance for Retired Americans President, Barbara J. Easterling, joined Senators Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), John Conyers (D-MI) and Dan Maffei (D-NY) and AFSCME International President Gerald McEntee, on a conference call with reporters.

Organized by the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, the call briefed members of the press on how the participants' efforts to protect Social Security against harmful benefit cuts are gaining momentum in Congress. Senators Sanders and Brown discussed the Sanders resolution, S. Res. 664, which opposes raising the retirement age, risky privatization schemes, or cutting Social Security benefits. This resolution now has 11 co-sponsors. The Giffords Resolution, a similar resolution in the House, is H. Res. 1670 and has 56 co-sponsors.

Reps. Grijalva, Conyers and Maffei also discussed the letter they are spearheading to President Obama against any form of Social Security benefit cuts, including raising the retirement age. The Grijalva-Conyers-Maffei letter has now been signed by over 100 of their colleagues in Congress. The current retirement age is 67, and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has raised the possibility of raising it to 70. "Thank you once again to our dedicated Alliance members, who have sent more than 2,300 letters to their House members urging them not to raise the retirement age," Ms. Easterling said on Thursday.

The House and Senate could face a proposal to cut Social Security benefits in the lame duck session, should it be recommended by the Fiscal Commission on Dec. 1.

No comments: