Newsflash:
Rep. Jim McGovern Economic and Social Justice Growing Movement: Expand Social Security or 'Pay a Price'
Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:36

Growing Movement: Expand Social Security or 'Pay a Price'

Written by  Lauren McCauley | Common Dreams
Alberta Gaskins holds a sign in front of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, protesting possible cuts to Social Security. Alberta Gaskins holds a sign in front of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, protesting possible cuts to Social Security. Kevin G. Hall/MCT

Sen. Warren: 'Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.'

With Social Security cuts once again on the table in closed-door congressional budget negotiations, a growing movement has taken the offensive, demanding that lawmakers strengthen, rather than stranglehold, our social safety net.

A new survey by Public Policy Polling and MoveOn.org published Tuesday found that voters in 10 key swing districts "overwhelmingly" support raising Social Security benefits.

According to the findings, over 70 percent of those polled in each of nine areas said they oppose cuts to Social Security benefits, and an average 65 percent of those polled support an increase to the benefits. Further, almost 70 percent said they would be less likely to support a candidate who supported any cuts.

"Our results confirm that on Social Security, many congressional proposals and much media punditry have been far from aligned with the voting public," said PPP analyst Jim Williams. 

Perhaps more aligned with the voting public, on Monday Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) delivered a resounding speech on the Senate floor calling for a strengthening of, rather than cutting, essential safety nets like Social Security.

The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch.

Over the past generation, working families have been hacked at, chipped, and hammered. If we want a real middle class — a middle class that continues to serve as the backbone of our country — then we must take the retirement crisis seriously. Seniors have worked their entire lives and have paid into the system, but right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse.

That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them.

Warren closed with saying, "Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”

As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent postured, Warren's articulation of this growing push against austerity cuts may provide a rallying call for "those who want to see the party embrace a more economically populist posture going forward," with Social Security "becom[ing] a key issue in the argument over the Democratic Party of the future."

Taking these demands one step further, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) put forth a new "Progressive Budget Blueprint" last week which proposed, among other things, cuts to defense and changes to the tax code balanced against progressive reforms to both Social Security and Medicare that would strengthen the programs. 

As further evidence of a rising populist voice, last week a coalition of groups including National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, AARP, NOW, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Generations United, NARFE and SocialSecurity Works rallied outside of the White House to protest against President Obama's proposed Chained CPI, or Consumer Price Index, which he introduced earlier this year as an "olive branch" to Republicans in the ongoing budget negotiations.

"We came here today because the elephant in the room is a donkey," said Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, referencing political party symbols. "The Chained CPI is in the president's budget and we need to tell him that's a bad idea."

"We're here to tell every politician, Republican or Democrat, peel away from your leader if you need to," Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, told the crowd. "Do not go along with the Chained CPI [...] because you will pay a price at the polls." 

Link to original article from Common Dreams

Read 2877 times

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the McGovern Campaign

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

Button-ShareTPPWithNewspaper

Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

Button-HandDeliver

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of