You can't make this stuff up. The economy is in shambles, unemployment is at record levels and home foreclosures are soaring. Congress can't get it together to act on these issues. But there's growing momentum in Washington to—wait for it—slash Social Security?
Believe it. Republicans are campaigning on benefit cuts. Conservative Democrats like Steny Hoyer are echoing their talking points.1
Everyone's counting on the Deficit Commission to do the dirty work. The commission is stacked with conservatives who've embraced cutting Social Security, and both houses of congress promised to fast-track a vote on its recommendations.2 3 That means that even though no jobs bill can pass congress right now, Social Security cuts might.
To stop the cuts, we need to send a crystal-clear message to members of Congress: Americans reject benefit cuts, and we expect them to do the same. Can you sign our promise to oppose cuts to Social Security? We'll use your signature to pressure them to sign a pledge protecting Social Security while they're home in New York for recess. But we need a strong response to make our point. Click below to add your name:The petition says: "I oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age."
We're going to be running a hard-hitting campaign on this issue from now straight through the election. After you sign, we'll give you more opportunities to weigh in with your member of Congress, invite you to local events in your community, and keep you posted on our progress and key media reports on our campaign. Together with our allies, we'll make sure Congress knows that cutting Social Security is unacceptable.
The people who want to cut it are spreading lots of myths meant to make you think there is a looming crisis. Well, it's not true—there is no Social Security crisis. The program's trust fund will have a 4.3 trillion dollar surplus by 2023, and can pay all of its obligations for decades to come.4 Also, legally it can't contribute to the deficit—it only ever gives out benefits it can pay for.
Strengthening Social Security is easy—making the rich pay their fair share by lifting the cap on contributions by the wealthy would allow Social Security to pay all of its obligations indefinitely.5
Fear-mongering over Social Security is led by Pete Peterson, a hedge fund manager spending $1 billion of his own money in a campaign to slash benefits.6 Conservatives in congress have been too happy to join him—Minority Leader John Boehner said he would cut benefits to pay for two unfunded wars,7 and the GOP's long term budget plan would fully privatize the program.8
Social Security belongs to us, the people who pay into it every day of our working lives, and it shouldn't be cut to pay off a deficit it didn't create. If we show congress that voters won't stand for cuts to our benefits, we can make sure cuts stay off the table and instead focus on real solutions. Can you sign our promise to oppose cuts and then ask your representatives to sign on as well?
Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Nita, Duncan, Marika, and the rest of the team
1. "John Boehner: Raise Social Security Retirement Age to 70," CBS News, June 29, 2010
2. "Reid Appoints Durbin, Baucus, Conrad To Presidential Commission That Will Help Rein In Spending And Reduce The Deficit" Democrats.Senate.Gov, February 23, 2010
3. "What happened on the war supplemental," Congress Matters, July 3, 2010
4."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
6. "Spending Big to Stop Spending," BusinessWeek, July 1, 2010
7. "GOP shrugs over Boehner comment," Politico, June 29, 2010
8. "The Ryan Budget's Radical Priorities," Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, July 7, 2010
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