Happy 75th, Social Security!

Happy 75th, Social Security!


Our birthday present to you is that we are going to stop policymakers from chopping you to pieces.

Social Security, you’ve been providing an economic lifeline that millions of Americans rely on. It’s too bad that on your 75th birthday, you’re under siege like never before.

What a bunch of ingrates, right? You’ve become so wildly successful that policymakers have started to take you for granted. Even though you help every American family – young and old – you’re terribly misunderstood.

Among the misunderstandings is that you’re “broken” and must be reformed.

That’s a laugh. You’ve been around for 75 years, you’ve never missed a payment, and you’re able to pay full benefits for another quarter of a century – and that’s without making a single change to the way you work.

Who else can make such a claim?

I’ll tell you who?  Nobody and no program.

Here’s what you should tell Americans: Without you, there would be terrible poverty among the elderly in this country. Not to mention the scores of children and people with disabilities who would be in dire straits, too. Take a look at the facts:

 –And Social Security also has lifted 6.5 million children under age 18, or nearly 9 percent of all U.S. children out of poverty.

–Without Social Security 8.1 million women age 65 and older would be living in poverty.

–Almost 7 out of 10 older Americans depend on Social Security for more than half their income and one out of 4 receive ALL their income from Social Security.

–If not for Social Security, almost 13 million additional older Americans would be living in poverty.

So, on your 75th birthday we should be hailing you, Social Security, as THE great American success story – not attacking you.

This is why Retirement USA – a coalition of consumer interest groups, unions, and advocates for retirees – has as one of its core principles the insistence that Social Security benefits not be touched. Retirement USA is advocating for a new retirement system for future generations of Americans (in addition to Social Security) that is Universal, Secure, and Adequate.

Retirement USA is sponsoring “Wake Up, Washington!” month, a national speak-out about retirement security that will take place from September 15-October 15. This month will be a time for Americans across the country to tell lawmakers to keep their hands off of Social Security and to fix our broken, patchwork private retirement system.

So, Social Security, I hope a lot of your fans will help us celebrate your 75th  birthday by making their voices heard in the Retirement USA story bank!

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