36th District Dems pass resolution to strengthen and defend Social Security

The 36th District Democrats in Washington state have passed a new resolution requesting the support of Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell, and Washington’s Congressional delegation, to strengthen and defend Social Security. From the text of the resolution:

The 36th District Democratic Organization of Washington State requests the President of the United States, United States Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and our Congressional delegation:

  • defend current Social Security benefits;
  • increase Social Security benefits;
  • finance these increased benefits by removing the cap on income taxable for employer and employee contributions to Social Security, thereby enabling the most well-off people in the United States to help fund Social Security.

Other local legislative district organizations should free free to use this resolution as a template for their own. Contact Social Security Works – Washington with any questions.

Wonder why deficit hawks in DC are trying to cut Social Security? So do we.

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about ‘austerity measures’ to manage the deficit in Washington D.C., but not much in the way of specifics. Perhaps attracting the most attention was President Obama’s Fiscal Commission, which proposed benefit cuts and increases in the retirement age. Many elected officials have been reluctant to comment on these plans — with some notable exceptions in defense of Social Security and Medicare — but those supportive of the cuts have been light on specifics and heavy on talking points.

Their reluctance to elaborate comes as no surprise. Polls show that the vast majority of Americans (across both age and partisan lines) don’t want the budget balanced on the backs of the middle class, seniors, and disabled workers. Still, some of our elected officials still don’t seem to get it.

So we’ve done them a favor, gathering up all of the polling data we could find around Social Security. As a bonus, we’ve also included some data allowing them to find out how many of their constituents utilize Social Security for retiree, survivors, or disability benefits.  Continue reading “Wonder why deficit hawks in DC are trying to cut Social Security? So do we.”

Remind your Senators: “Hands Off Our Social Security”

Yesterday, tens of thousands of people delivered the message: “Hands Off Our Social Security!” to their members of Congress. So many, in fact,  that the Capitol Switchboard became overloaded and the phones went down.

Our message is getting through loud and clear, but now is not the time to let up.

The Fiscal Commission was supposed to vote today on a plan to slash Social Security benefits. They pushed the vote back to Friday in an effort to round up the necessary votes, but many members of the Commission are still undecided.

If you have time to call your U.S. Senators TODAY and THURSDAY, please do. Call 1-866-529-7630 now. Many of you called but weren’t able to get through yesterday — please call again today.

Tell the person who answers the phone: “I am a voter/constituent living in [your state]. I am calling to tell the Senator – no to Social Security benefit cuts, no to increasing the retirement age. In other words, hands off Social Security.”

Together, we can defeat their plan will raise the retirement age to 69, cut the annual COLA, and cut benefits overall for middle-income earners by 17% to 36%.

Watch Live: Joseph Stiglitz, Dean Baker and Others to Respond to Fiscal Commission

Webcast Event: “Prosperity, Not Austerity,” A Response to the Fiscal Commission and A Blueprint for Economic Recovery, 12/1, 10 am PST

Tomorrow (12/1/2010) afternoon, Pres. Obama’s bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform will release its much discussed final report on federal budget priorities. The report, as previewed in the mark-up published by commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson three weeks ago, is likely to propose a program of harsh austerity measures, including calls for cuts in Social Security and other programs that will adversely affect the middle class.

From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PST tomorrow, immediately following the report’s release, a panel of prominent economists and budget experts will respond to the findings and recommend alternative paths to fiscal responsibility, with sustained economic growth for all Americans.

Click this link to watch it live: http://www.ourfiscalsecurity.org/

Click here to learn more

Ten Reasons the Social Security Proposal of the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Should be DOA (Dead On Arrival)

Via Strengthen Social Security:

The Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs’ Social Security proposals are an equal opportunity disaster. So soon after an angry electorate has expressed its frustration with a Washington political class that does not appear to be listening, it totally ignores the will of the people. Poll after poll has shown that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents reject the punitive cuts in America’s economic security that the co-chairs have proposed. Their proposal:

  1. Deeply cuts the benefits of middle-class families. The proposal would cut retirement benefits by more than 35% for young people entering the workforce today. Today’s 20-year old workers who retire at age 65 would see their benefits cut by 17% if their wages average $43,000 over their working lives, by 30% if their wages average $69,000 over their working lives, and by 36% if their wages average $107,000 over their working lives, according to the Social Security Chief Actuary.[1] The proposed cuts would apply to retirees, disabled workers and their families, children who have lost parents, and widows and widowers. Continue reading “Ten Reasons the Social Security Proposal of the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Should be DOA (Dead On Arrival)”

Deficit commission fishing for ways to raise the retirement age

Via Washington Policy Watch:

Fishing season is open, so it may be no coincidence that a recent federal deficit-cutting proposal includes this whopper: cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age to 68.

Like fish left out too long, this one smells funny. And no wonder: More than 50 million Americans rely on Social Security benefits to maintain their economic security, and raising the retirement age would jeopardize the economic security of millions of American seniors.

But Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission, contend raising the retirement age is necessary for fiscal austerity, despite increasing economic insecurity in retirement.

So will raiding Social Security really help pay down the deficit, or is it a red herring? Continue reading “Deficit commission fishing for ways to raise the retirement age”

Democrats: Leave Social Security alone

From Politico:

Democrats are warning President Barack Obama that the fiscal commission he created to help solve the country’s budget problems needs to keep its hands off Social Security.

“You have charged the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with proposing recommendations that improve the long-term fiscal outlook and address the growth of entitlement spending. It is our view that Social Security — which is prohibited by law from adding to the national budget deficit — does not belong as part of those recommendations,” Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva wrote in the letter to Obama, which was signed by more than half of the Democratic Caucus, including many vulnerable members.

“If any of the commission’s recommendations cut or diminish Social Security in any way, we will stand firmly against them,” the Democrats said in the letter.

Social Security’s 57 million recipients benefit from the country’s largest entitlement program, which needs to be reformed to stay solvent for younger workers currently paying into the system. Democrats have been reiterating their support for the benefits with press releases and pledges. On Monday, many of the letter’s signees also signed a pledge that they wouldn’t raise the retirement age or privatize the program.

The commission must release a report by Dec. 1 on how the country can balance its budget by 2015. Both Democratic and Republican leaders have said that the program needs to be reformed to deal with national debt.

Read the full story at here