Scott Reske, Candidate for U.S. Congress in Indiana's 5th District, was joined today by leaders of local senior citizen advocacy groups in a ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Social Security.
Reske said Social Security has provided economic security for the elderly and disabled since 1940, and the anniversary reminds us of the program's successes.
"Social Security is solvent," said Reske. "The program has not added one cent to the national debt, and yet some want to borrow from this program and cut benefits."
Social Security is self-funded, and the Social Security Trust Fund is projected to grow from $2.7 trillion to $3.7 trillion in the next decade.
Reske said some in Washington want to privatize Social Security or reduce benefits, which would destabilize the program and jeopardize seniors. He also said the U.S. would have to add $6.5 trillion to the national debt in order to shift to a privatized program.
"If Social Security had been privatized before the economic downturn, millions of Americans would have lost much of the retirement income they had earned," said Reske.
Cuts to Social Security would also put greater financial burdens on the budgets of working families.
"Many families are struggling with making mortgage payments, putting their children through college, and with unemployment or underemployment," said Reske. "At the same time they are trying help their aging parents. Cuts in Social Security would make all of these financial struggles worse.
"In addition, targeting cuts to adults younger than 55 further hurts those who have spent their prime earning years during the economic slowdown," said Reske. "We should instead be talking about ways to improve the job market for those who have yet to retire."
President of the Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans Elmer Blankenship also expressed his support of Social Security at the ceremony.
"Social Security is a great American success story, and we must keep it strong for our children and grandchildren," said Blankenship. "Today's seniors do not want to be the last generation to retire."
"Working Americans have paid into Social Security all their working lives," said Reske. "Now is not the time to reduce benefits. We should find ways to strengthen Social Security first, not weaken the program."