The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Social Security: Endangered on Its 76th Birthday


NANCY ALTMAN, njalt at

Number of People with Family Earnings Below Poverty Remains Way Up
Altman is co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of over 300 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans and author of the book "The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision to Bush's Gamble." She said today: "Social Security has transformed the nation, insuring American workers and their families against the loss of wages in the event of disability, death, and old age. Prior to Social Security, growing old was something to fear, because it generally meant destitution and loss of independence. But not anymore, thanks to Social Security.

"Social Security, which works so well, is under attack today by elites who believe it should be cut or even privatized. The best way to celebrate Social Security's birthday this August 14th is to write your elected representatives, the president, and your local newspaper, explaining why this vital program is more necessary than ever and should not be cut."

STACY SANDERS, ssanders at

Sanders is the director of the Elder Economic Security Initiative, a branch of Wider Opportunities for Women. She said today: "Although Social Security played no role in creating our nation's debt, benefit cuts are often marketed as a solution to the nation's fiscal woes. Social Security is the bedrock of economic security for millions of older Americans, persons with disability and families.

"For the beneficiary living solely or primarily on average benefits alone -- just over $12,500 for a single older women and $15,700 for an older man -- cuts would have devastating consequences for economic security. The solvency of Social Security and the values of its benefits can be strengthened through balanced reform. On Social Security's 76th birthday, Congress and the Administration should protect the promise of Social Security and take benefits cuts off the table in the ongoing deficit debate."

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.