Ms. SHEA-PORTER. Mr. Speaker, some of my friends on the other side of the aisle are always warning the young people of this country that Social Security won't be there for them, so we should just scrap it now, raise the retirement age, and privatize Social Security. They are wrong.
Social Security is critical for those who depend on it. It is essential for the family who has a loved one who needs disability insurance. It's essential for our senior citizens who paid their whole lives into a system so they would have a safety net when they need it most. However, Social Security is not just a retirement benefit; it's also an insurance program. If a spouse or parent of a child dies, Social Security is there for his or her widow, widower or child. This is not just a retirement program for seniors. It's a social safety net for all of us.
The young people of this country need to know Social Security is there for them and that it can be there in the future, just as it was for generations and for our seniors today. However, we must fiercely defend Social Security from some Republican efforts to privatize funds and gamble it on Wall Street. We must protect and strengthen Social Security, not dismantle it.