Congressman Tim Bishop joined Smithtown Supervisor Pat Vecchio at the Smithtown Senior Center to wish a happy 75th birthday "and many happy returns" to the Social Security program. Congressman Bishop discussed his efforts to protect Social Security benefits and strengthen and improve the program.
"For 75 years, Social Security has been at the core of dignity and retirement security for retired Americans," Congressman Bishop said. "I will fight hard to make sure it continues to serve future generations, and that we never, ever engage in risky privatization schemes."
Social Security was signed into law Aug. 14, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his New Deal, a package of economic programs to help the nation recover from the Great Depression.
Bishop discussed the need to protect Social Security for future generations. While the program's financial underpinnings are sound, Bishop said that policymakers must plan for the future date when the Social Security Trust Fund is fully depleted, currently projected for 2037. At that point, incoming Social Security taxes, would be able to pay approximately 78% of benefits, assuming that no changes are made between now and that date.
Bishop highlighted his opposition to any efforts to privatize Social Security, noting that we cannot allow seniors' retirement security to be at the whims of the ebbs and flows of the stock market. Bishop also discussed his support for the "Seniors Protection Act," (H.R. 5987) which would provide $250 in relief to retirees and other Social Security beneficiaries if in October it is determined there will be no cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2011.
In 2010, for the first time in decades, Social Security recipients did not receive an increase in their payment, due to a decline in the Consumer Price Index.
In brief remarks, Supervisor Vecchio thanked Congressman Bishop for his work on behalf of seniors and Smithtown. Bishop and Vecchio then cut a birthday cake decorated as a Social Security card and presented pieces to seniors who were assembled for a line dancing class and lunch service.
In this photo, Bishop speaks at the Senior Center. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7307564@N03/4902506636/sizes/o/
In this photo, Bishop and Vecchio cut the Social Security 75th Birthday cake. http://www.flickr.com/photos/7307564@N03/4902569034/sizes/o/