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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of the 70th anniversary of Social Security.
“This Sunday will mark the 70th Anniversary of one of America’s most successful and most popular programs: Social Security. Democrats created this program in 1935, recognizing that older Americans deserve integrity and independence in retirement, and that children and disabled Americans need security in the face of disastrous and tragic family events. Sadly though, 70 years later, this bedrock American program is under siege by Republican proposals to privatize the system.
“Democrats recognize that Social Security faces challenges, and that they must be addressed sooner rather than later. However, we will not allow Republicans to take Social Security’s guaranteed benefits, which hardworking Americans have earned, and turn them into a gamble.
“The more Republicans have tried to sell their proposal to privatize Social Security to the country, the more Americans have opposed it. A recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showed that Americans now disapprove of the proposal by a 2-to-1 margin, even after President Bush and Congressional Republicans’ months-long national sales pitch.
“It is time for the Republicans to start listening to the American people on this issue, and abandon the idea of Social Security privatization. Instead, Republicans continue to play a shell game with the American public.
“Democrats are absolutely committed to strengthening and modernizing Social Security so that our national contract with America’s workers endures for future generations of seniors. Democrats fought to create the Social Security program nearly 70 years ago, and we are ready to work with Republicans to safeguard its future. We would like to sit down at the table to discuss a real bipartisan solution, much like President Reagan and Speaker Thomas P. ‘Tip’ O’Neill did in 1983. We hope that the Republicans will join us.”