Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek, pledged Saturday to fight any attempt to privatize Social Security or cut the program’s benefits, including by raising the retirement age for full benefits.
Schauer, who faces Republican Tim Walberg in the race for the 7th Congressional District seat, spoke to a group of about 35 people at the Adrian Senior Center on the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act.
To make his point, Schauer signed a written pledge on a poster board in front of the group, promising to strengthen and protect Social Security and fight any attempt to convert its funds to private investment accounts.
“I will oppose with every ounce of energy privatization of Social Security,” Schauer said.
About 40 seasoned Progressive Democrat activists from the 4th CD gathered on Aug. 7 at the Candlelight Lounge in Economy, PA for a two-hour breakfast discussion. The hot topic of the day was the District’s Blue Dog Congressman, Jason Altmire, and what to do about him in the upcoming election and beyond.
It was not an easy question. The people in the buffet line putting tasty scrambled eggs, sausage and home fries on their plates were a cross section of Beaver County’s best political fighters—steelworkers, trade union organizers, African-American community leaders, retirees, postal and construction workers, teachers, social workers and day care workers, and a few candidates and local elected officials. Almost all of them had worked very hard four years ago to replace the GOP’s right-winger, Melissa Hart with Jason Altmire in Congress. While there was little naiveté about politicians in this dining room, they had still expected more from Altmire, especially given the distressed condition of the working class and small business in the area.
Social Security turned 75 last week. It should have been a joyous occasion, a time to celebrate a program that has brought dignity and decency to the lives of older Americans.
But the program is under attack, with some Democrats as well as nearly all Republicans joining the assault. Rumor has it that President Obama’s deficit commission may call for deep benefit cuts, in particular a sharp rise in the retirement age.
Social Security’s attackers claim that they’re concerned about the program’s financial future. But their math doesn’t add up, and their hostility isn’t really about dollars and cents. Instead, it’s about ideology and posturing. And underneath it all is ignorance of or indifference to the realities of life for many Americans.