When you think of the people in your life who receive Social Security, do these descriptions fit?Are they..?
?70- and 80-year-old people living in gated communities, driving their Lexus to the Perkins Restaurant to get the AARP discount. I mean, it’s unbelievable.” Fiscal Commission co-chair, former Senator Alan Simpson, NPR, April 2010
Do they live in..?
?protracted golden years of idleness… Deranged by the entitlement mentality fostered by a metastasizing welfare state…(who) now have such low pain thresholds that suffering is defined as a slight delay in beginning a subsidized retirement often lasting one-third of the retiree’s adult lifetime.? George Will, Washington Post, April 2008
Do your parents and grandparents use Social Security to…?
?… subsidize a cushy retirement, so seniors could jet set all across the globe on vacations…and too many people rely and count on Social Security funding their weekly shuffleboard tournaments.? Glenn Beck, Fox News, April 2010
We thought not.But this is exactly how America?s retirees, who?ve invested throughout their entire working lives to fund Social Security?s modest retirement income, are being portrayed by opinion makers in Washington who hope the President?s Fiscal Commission will balance our books through cuts in Social Security.Now is the time to Tune Out the Noise, generated by a well-financed anti-Social Security cabal. If this fiscal commission has any hope of truly dealing with our nation?s fiscal woes, it?s important we start with some key facts.No one?s getting rich on Social Security. Social Security benefits are modest. The average benefit for today?s retiree is only about $14,000 per year ? or about $1,300 per month.Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement. From the program’s beginning, it was intended to be a base of protection, supplemented by private pensions and savings, not an individual’s sole source of retirement income. Today, nine out of ten people over age 65 receive Social Security benefits. Two out of every three Social Security beneficiaries receive over half of their income from Social Security, and it’s the only source of income for nearly one-in-five seniors. Without Social Security, most older Americans would live in poverty.Social Security is more than just a retirement plan. Social Security means life insurance for workers and their families: One in seven Americans will die before reaching age 67. Many workers do not have life insurance to protect their families from the loss of the earnings of their primary breadwinner. What workers may not realize is that their payroll taxes entitle their families to survivor’s benefits, providing life insurance protection worth over $433,000.Social Security means disability insurance for workers and their families: Three out of ten of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67. Yet 75% of the private sector workforce has no long-term disability insurance. Individuals with a prior history of medical problems or who work in industries with a high rate of injury frequently find it prohibitively expensive or impossible to obtain coverage. Many workers don’t realize their payroll taxes are also buying them this critical protection.Social Security?s foes have promised they?ll leave current retirees alone in their quest for cuts; however, what they didn?t understand during President Bush?s campaign to privatize Social Security, and still clearly don?t understand now, is that seniors want the same protections for their children and grandchildren when they retire. Seniors know that near-retirees took an especially hard hit with the collapse of the housing bubble and the stock market plunge.Cutting Social Security and Medicare at a time when these Americans are facing skyrocketing health care costs, no COLA, shrinking home values, decimated savings and a shaky economy will leave potentially millions of working Americans facing reduced incomes and even near-poverty level incomes in their retirement.Is this really the future our nation envisions for future generations of Americans? When someone tries to tell you we can?t afford Social Security, our response should be…we can?t afford a future without it.