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Women and Social Security Alert No. 29

June 2010; News on the Strengthening Social Security Campaign, plus event information from the Insight Center, NASI, and the Urban Institute.

ITEMS IN THIS ALERT

In the News

  • Strengthening Social Security Campaign Forming
  • Strengthening Social Security Campaign Principles

Upcoming Events

  • Insight Center for Community Economic Development Webinar – Social Security at 75: Building Economic Security, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap – June 17, 2010
  • Strengthening Social Security Campaign Organizational Meeting – June 18, 2010
  • NASI Briefing – “Social Security at 75:  The Legacy and Vision” – June 22, 2010
  • Urban Institute Forum Series – “The Big Balance: Raising the Retirement Age While Protecting Those Who Cannot Work” – July 14, 2010

 

IN THE NEWS

Strengthening Social Security Campaign Forming

The Strengthening Social Security Campaign is forming in response to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and recent efforts to reduce the deficit by cutting Social Security benefits.  Social Security Works, under the direction of Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, is leading this effort.  Campaign Steering Committee members include the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, Campaign for America’s Future, Economic Policy Institute, Generations United, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Organization for Women, National Women’s Law Center, OWL – The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, Social Security Works, and Voices for America’s Children.

They would like to kick off the campaign by assembling a broad coalition of groups that support the following Campaign Principles.  If your organization would like to participate in the campaign and sign-on to the principles, please contact Alex Lawson at alawson@socialsecurity-works.org or 202-997-7002.

Strengthening Social Security Campaign Principles

We stand together in support of Social Security, a promise made to Americans of all generations. Social Security represents the best of American values – reward for hard work, honoring our parents and caring for our neighbors. Social Security belongs to the workers and their families who have worked hard, paid taxes in, and earned its benefits. Social Security did not cause the federal deficit, and its benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit.  The federal government found the money to bail out Wall Street; it must find the money to pay what it owes to Social Security. Today’s and tomorrow’s beneficiaries – children, people with disabilities, widows, widowers, and retired workers – deserve no less.

In this, Social Security’s 75th Anniversary year, we are united in support of the following principles:

1. Social Security has a surplus of $2.6 trillion, which it has loaned to the federal government. Social Security did not cause the federal deficit. Its benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit. 
2. Social Security, which has stood the test of time, should not be privatized in whole or in part.
3. Social Security is insurance and should not be means-tested. Because workers pay for it, they should receive it regardless of their income or savings.
4. Social Security is fully funded for more than 25 years; thereafter it has sufficient funds to meet 75 percent of promised benefits. To reassure Americans that Social Security will be there for them, Congress should act in the coming few years outside the context of deficit reduction to close this funding gap by requiring those who are most able to afford it to pay somewhat more.
5. Social Security’s retirement age, already scheduled to increase from 66 to 67, should not be raised further. That would be a benefit cut that places the greatest hardship on older Americans who are in physically demanding jobs, or are otherwise unable to find or keep employment.
6. Social Security, whose average benefit is $13,000 in 2010, provides vital protection against the loss of wages as the result of disability, death, or old age.  Those benefits should not be reduced, including by changes to the cost of living adjustment or the benefit formula.
7. Social Security’s benefits should be increased for those who are most disadvantaged.  The benefits, which are very important to virtually all workers and their families, are particularly crucial to those who are disadvantaged.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Insight Center for Community Economic Development Webinar – Social Security at 75: Building Economic Security, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap – June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010
10:00 AM-11:00 AM

Seventy-five years after the passage of Social Security, the program is often celebrated for its role in alleviating poverty.  It is an especially important program for workers and families of color who are more vulnerable to economic instability and who are least likely to have wealth.  It is an important form of savings that gives workers of color important insurance protections that they might not otherwise be able to afford.  This webinar will provide an in-depth discussion of the issues of race, gender, wealth, and Social Security.

Speakers Include:

  • Kilolo Kijakazi, Program Officer, Ford Foundation
  • David Pate, Executive Director, Center for Family Policy and Practice
  • Wilhlemina Leigh, Senior Research Associate, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
  • Meizhu Lui, Director, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative
  • Maya Rockeymoore,  President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions
  • Duoa Thor, Executive Director, South East Asia Resource Action Center

To RSVP, please visit: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/schedule/display.do?udc=ux6v2g7j91uq

Strengthening Social Security Campaign Organizational Meeting

Friday, June 18, 2010
10:00 AM – 12:00 noon

Economic Policy Institute
1333 H St. NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Call-In Information
605-475-4800
Passcode 569788#

This meeting will provide an opportunity for organizations interested in working on the Strengthening Social Security Campaign to learn more about the new coalition.  Topics for discussion will include:

  • Campaign plans to defeat attempts to cut Social Security
  • Presentation of Lake Research polling data on how to best talk about strengthening Social Security with members of Congress, the media, and the public
  • Remarks by campaign Steering Committee members

NASI Briefing – “Social Security at 75:  The Legacy and Vision” – June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
8:30 AM-4:30 PM

National Press Club
529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045
Social Security helped pave a humane path out of the Great Depression in 1935 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s broad agenda that lifted the poor and fostered the growth of a strong middle class.  In today’s Great Recession, pundits question whether we can still afford Social Security’s promise to empower the vulnerable and sustain a vibrant middle class for tomorrow’s working families.  This forum explores lessons from history that shed light on the future.
Speakers Include:

  • Nancy Altman, Co-Director of Social Security Works, author of The Battle for Social Security
  • Dean Baker, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • Hilary Doe, Director, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network
  • Doug Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and Former Director, Congressional Budget Office
  • Meizhu Lui, Director of Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development
  • Lisa Mensah, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Initiative on Financial Security
  • Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions

To RSVP, please visit: https://www.nasi.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=120

Urban Institute Forum Series – “The Big Balance: Raising the Retirement Age While Protecting Those Who Cannot Work” – July 14, 2010


“The Big Balance: Raising the Retirement Age While Protecting Those Who Cannot Work” will be held on Wednesday, July 14 from 8:30-10:00 AM. The location is to be determined. 
Speakers Include:

  • Gary Burtless, Senior Fellow and John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair in Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Richard W. Johnson, Senior fellow and Director, Program on Retirement Policy, Urban Institute
  • Karyne Jones, President and CEO, National Caucus and Center on Black Aged
  • Monique Morrissey, Economist, Economic Policy Institute
  • David Stapleton, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Studying Disability Policy, Mathematica Policy Research
  • Frank Todisco, Senior Pension Fellow, American Academy of Actuaries

RSVP online at http://www.urban.org/events/other4/RSVP.cfmtop

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