UNION COMES OUT IN STRONG SUPPORT OF SOCIAL SECURITY PROTECTION AMENDMENT

The American Federation of Government Employees joined the Strengthen Social Security Campaign in support of the Social Security Protection Amendment (S. Amdt. 207) that was offered by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Harry Reid (D-NV), to the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2011.

The Sanders-Reid amendment expresses the Sense of the Senate that Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries should not be cut and that the Social Security program should not be privatized as part of any legislation to reduce the federal budget deficit.

“We deliver service on the front lines, and we know how important Social Security is to the population as it ages and to all working families during this extended recession,” said AFGE Local 3937 President Steve Kofahl. “Defined benefit pensions are fast disappearing, savings have been lost as the value of homes and stock portfolios dropped, and for many people Social Security remains the only sturdy leg of the three-legged stool of retirement security.”

In a letter to Senators, AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten stated, “Cutting Social Security benefits or privatizing the program in the name of deficit reduction is unnecessary and misguided. Social Security is not contributing one dime to the federal budget deficit. The program has a $2.6 trillion surplus today that is projected to grow to $4.2 trillion by 2023, and will be able to pay out full benefits to every eligible recipient until 2037. In addition, privatizing the Social Security program would jeopardize the retirement security of millions of Americans by relying on a volatile stock market to provide retirement benefits.”

“Cuts in current or future benefits, including those that would result from further raising the retirement age or reducing cost of living adjustments would be cruel, unjustified, and simply unacceptable. Privatization, as we all learned the hard way three years ago, would take the security out of Social Security,” said Kofahl.

“Social Security is a promise that this nation cannot afford to break,” concluded Moten. “AFGE strongly urges the Senate to vote yes on the Social Security Protection Amendment.”

AFGE joined the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, as well as hundreds of Social Security beneficiaries, at the event.

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