Yesterday marked the 77th anniversary of Social Security, an essential and successful program that has helped millions of seniors in their retirement years. In 2011, close to 1.5 million people, or 90 percent of people in Illinois 65 and older, received Social Security benefits. According to the AARP, without this income the number of elderly people living in poverty in Illinois would increase by 37 percent. It's a benefit that hard-working Americans have paid into and earned, but Congresswoman Biggert has been a longtime proponent of privatizing Social Security, dating back to her first campaign in 1998. Congresswoman Biggert, who said that Social Security is one of the major issues Congress needs to come together on, nonetheless voted twice for legislation that would privatize Social Security by placing retirement funds into risky Wall Street investments. This legislation, had it become law, would have devastated millions of seniors when the stock market crashed.
"At a time when many seniors are struggling, we owe it to them to preserve the Social Security benefits they have earned, but Congresswoman Biggert and the Republican party want to break our promise to seniors by putting their hard-earned dollars into the hands of Wall Street," said Bill Foster. "Congresswoman Biggert's plans to privatize and cut Social Security in order to give additional tax breaks to billionaires and additional management fees to Wall Street fails to recognize that our economy does best when the middle class prospers, and that Social Security benefits received by Illinois seniors provide a huge boost to our local economy.
"It's time that Congress shows its allegiance to the middle class, instead of wealthy special interests, by protecting programs like Social Security that seniors cannot afford to lose."