On Tuesday, August 14, Social Security celebrates its 77th birthday. This week, retirees across the country celebrate the program that they can rely on for modest benefits when they need them most. Before Social Security, seniors worked until the day they died, because they could never afford to retire. The program is more important than ever with the decline of defined-benefit pensions, the plummeting value of 401k plans, and scanty savings.
How ironic that just as seniors celebrate Social Security’s birthday, Mitt Romney has named in Paul Ryan a running mate who wants to decimate the program.
Romney and Ryan aim to cut Social Security dramatically even though it is self-funded and has not added one dime to the deficit. Rep. Ryan has wanted to privatize it since at least 2005. The Ryan-Romney plan would raise the retirement age and turn Social Security over to Wall Street, where it would be subjected to the whims of the stock market.
Ryan proposed $1.2 trillion in cuts and the partial privatization of Social Security upon taking control of the Budget Committee in 2011, and he has constantly warned about the supposed doom facing the program if major reforms aren’t enacted immediately. He would also like to establish a fast-track procedure to force Social Security cuts.
Moreover, Ryan's change in the formula for calculating benefits – basing it on the growth in prices, not wages – would cut benefits by 16% for the average new retiree in 2050, and by 28% in 2080.
While the Romney-Ryan team is a match made in heaven for billionaires, big banks and insurance companies, it could spell disaster for most seniors. In response to these political threats, the Alliance’s campaign will include birthday celebrations in local communities, educational briefings at senior centers, and protests outside offices of lawmakers who have voted against the needs of local retirees.
For more information, please visit: Lets_not_be_the_Last_Generation_to_Retire.