Conservative think tanks and publications have been very busy this fall pumping out propaganda designed to undermine Social Security. Of course, the conservative movement has been working to weaken or eliminate the program since the 1980s, and its messaging seeps quite seamlessly into the mainstream media narrative about Social Security. A recent opinion piece in Slate magazine is the latest example of anti-Social Security propaganda from the political right.
In this "Equal Time" edition of our blog, we push back on a recent New York Times op-ed that attempts to divide the generations in order to undermine Social Security and Medicare.
NCPSSM president Max Richtman offered testimony today to the U.S. House Budget Committee, warning that the creation of a fiscal commission to address the federal debt could jeopardize Social Security and Medicare benefits.
The message at Thursday’s NCPSSM/AARP town hall in Las Vegas was: the government may temporarily shut down on September 30th, but Social Security is here to stay. The town hall, entitled “Social Security: Here Today, Here Tomorrow,” was an opportunity for nearly 100 Las Vegas residents to hear from some of the nation’s leading experts about the value of Social Security --- and to receive reassurance that benefits still will be paid during a shutdown.
First, the good news. Even if the government shuts down at the end of this week because of House Republican intransigence, Social Security benefits will continue to be paid and customer service for retirees should not get significantly worse. Now, the bad news. The impending shutdown is symptomatic of a disorder in Congress that seniors should care about: MAGA hardliners once again gumming up the works of a government which best serves the public when operating smoothly, without needless disruptions.
We don’t know exactly what the impact of any cut will be on SSA, but we do know they have already requested an increase of $727 million above current funding, as a minimum, for FY 2024. Without this level of funding, they will be forced to reduce staffing and overtime, which will hurt the agency’s ability to serve the public. Without that minimum level of funding, SSA’s customers will wait significantly longer for field office services, disability decisions, and phone support, and their already significant backlogs would increase.
NCPSSM participated in an event on the Capitol Grounds Wednesday to call for the repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset( GPO), which prevent millions of public employees and their families from collecting full Social Security benefits. The event was organized by the National WEP/GPO Repeal Task Force --- a coalition of advocates representing public sector workers.
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will participate in a special Social Security symposium hosted by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and the Harkin Institute of Drake University. Featuring NCPSSM President Max Richtman and other prominent leaders from the national advocacy community.
Social Security — which turned 88 years old this month — is one of my grandfather’s greatest legacies. It’s no exaggeration to say that this is a high stakes time for his landmark program. Powerful opponents of Social Security are calling for privatization, cutting the annual COLA, raising the retirement age, and even “sunsetting” the program.
More than 150 Philadelphians turned out at Center in the Park for a town hall emphasizing Social Security’s importance to the Black community, co-presented by NCPSSM and AARP Pennsylvania. Attendees learned about their earned benefits and played Social Security-themed games — including Social Security Plinko and “What does Social Security Mean to You?”