Happy Anniversary, Social Security! It’s been 79 years, and the American people love you.
Oh, and by the way, Democrats built that. Also, Democrats built some other things similar to Social Security… like Medicare and Obamacare.
Yes, Pelosi went there. That was the gist of Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement Thursday on the anniversary of Social Security, a good reminder that Democrats have long advocated for programs for the people. It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) who signed the beloved Social Security program into law in 1935.
Leader Pelosi noted, “In the nearly eight decades since its enactment, Social Security has stood as a cornerstone of economic certainty for millions of America’s seniors and families. Together with Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, Social Security provides essential protection for the middle class. But there continue to be Congressional Republicans who put forward dangerous proposals to privatize or partially privatize Social Security, which would rob seniors of the economic security they count on.
“When Democrats created Social Security, we pledged to defend the right of our nation’s seniors to pursue a life of liberty and happiness. Democrats have stood by the promise of Social Security since its inception, and Democrats will continue to protect and strengthen Social Security for the generations to come.”
On January 17, 1935, FDR explained the Social Security legislation as something to help protect Americans from the hazards of life, “A recommendation for legislation to help protect Americans from the hazards of life.”
His words are especially poignant after the brutal recession that started in 2007. The Democratic President closed by saying, “We pay now for the dreadful consequence of economic insecurity – and dearly. This plan presents a more equitable and infinitely less expensive means of meeting these costs. We cannot afford to neglect the plain duty before us.”
This is why Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel pledged in a statement today, “House Democrats will continue to stand fast against Republicans’ efforts to undermine seniors’ vital lifeline and risk Americans’ retirement security through privatization. Rather, we must work together to protect and strengthen Social Security for both today’s seniors and for future retirees.”
Fortune Magazine was unimpressed with the Republican idea to “privatize” Social Security (aka, destroy Social Security). In 2010, when this was yet another hot campaign issue for the GOP, they pointed out that the stock market has had “two 50%-plus drops in just over a decade” and you’d think this “would have shown conclusively the folly of retirees’ having to bet their eating money on the market.”
Why is privatizing Social Security such a turkey? Because retirees shouldn’t have to depend on the market’s vagaries for survival money. More than half of married couples over 65 and 72% of singles get more than half their income from Social Security, according to the Social Security Administration. For 20% of 65-and-up couples and 41% of singles, Social Security is 90% or more of their income. That isn’t projected to change.
It’s obscene that more media do not call out the ridiculous Republican idea of a Social Security that is not secure. Tying “security” to the stock market, especially after the last decade of two plunging markets under Bush, is an idea that should be laughed at.
This is not “security”, thus it is not a viable replacement or “reform” to Social Security. It is a different idea, and should be proposed properly as such, but then the main goal of destroying Social Security could not be achieved. Thus, the destroyers of “security” must keep presenting their idea as a “reform” when it is in fact a destruction.
Happy Anniversary, Social Security. May you be long funded and protected.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.