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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Peninsula | Health, Housing, and Public Services
The Truth About Social Security Told
Republicans are twisting the facts to make it appear as if Social Security is the cause of our large federal deficit. In fact, Social Security has NOTHING to do with the national deficit. This and other truths about Social Security were presented at a forum in San Mateo, California on June 11th.
"Oh right wing your should know. Your plan has got to go. Hands off Social Security!"
A standing room only audience, led by the Raging Grannies, sang these lyrics to start off an event put together to put forth the truth about America's Social Security system.
Katie Johnson, Grassroots Organizer for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) was the first speaker of the afternoon. Her organization has measured the far reach of the safety net that is "America's promise to its people" and promotes the continuance of the system of social security established during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. The NCPSSM holds forth that Social Security is perhaps the most effective anti-poverty program this nation has ever enacted and, as an example, 40% of African-American beneficiaries rely on Social Security for ALL of their income. Ms. Johnson related her own mother's experience and how Social Security benefits have allowed her to maintain an independent lifestyle. She spoke of the importance of getting out the truth, that Social Security is NOT in crisis and there is no need to alter the program's fundamental structure.
U.S. Representative for California's 12th congressional district Jackie Speier addressed the audience and spoke of her own experience as a recipient of Social Security. When her husband died in a car accident in 1994, she was two months pregnant with their second child. Social Security is not just for retirees, she reminded the audience. In her case it saved her family from financial ruin. The Congresswoman fielded questions from people both for and against the preservation of Social Security...and she did so with great aplomb. In no case, she said, should Social Security be privatized. The national deficit, the Congresswoman said, could be repaired by the immediate halt of the many wars the US is involved in.
Jodi Reid, Executive Director of CARA, California Alliance for Retired Americans, spoke to the assembled crowd telling them she reminds her young children often that they too will have to fight to save Social Security. She praised Jackie Speier for being on top of things in the arena of Social Security and for being willing to listen to organizations like CARA to learn more. Ms. Reid said that, in contrast, other politicians, including Senator Dianne Feinstein, have not committed to saving the system. She passed out postcards for people to fill out and mail to convince the senator. "We need her to sign on in support of the very important legislation, the Social Security Protection Act of 2011. And if she doesn't say she will after all these postcards, well, just wait and see what we are going to do."
You can print postcards to fill out and mail to CARA at link below. The group will deliver them directly to Senator Feinstein with their demand.
Saturday's program was sponsored by:
San Mateo County Democracy for America
Co-sponsors were: San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee, Peninsula Democratic Coalition, Pacifica Democrats, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Photos by R. Robertson, scroll down to see all
...very pleased with the Forum. She shared printed lyrics to this song and several others with attendees.
We've Been Workin' Now for Ages (tune: I've Been Workin' on the Railroad )
We've been workin' now for ages,
And you know it's true,
Paying FICA on our wages,
But now comes something new....
The right wing comes along and tells us
(They expect us to agree)
That THEY are going now to mess up...
Our So-CIAL Security.
Oh right wing your should know,
Your plan has got to go!
HANDS off – So-CIAL Security!
Raise the FICA tax
For all the rich fat cats
But, damn it, keep your hands off me!