PENNSYLVANIA — Earlier today, on the 85th Anniversary of Social Security, PA Dems Senior Caucus Chair Brad Kirsch, U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (PA-18), Matt Cartwright (PA-8), and Brendan Boyle (PA-2), and Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member Jody Weinreich hosted a virtual press conference to highlight the vital importance of earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare. They also discussed the threat the Trump Administration poses to these life-saving benefits, including Trump’s recent executive order eliminating funding for them.

A recording of the virtual press conference can be found here and an audio clip is available here. Check out some of the highlights below: 

Brad Kirsch, PA Dems Senior Caucus Founder & Chair:

“Since 1935, Social Security has helped millions of hard-working seniors to live with dignity and independence after a lifetime of hard work. For many Pennsylvania seniors, the Social Security that they have spent their life paying into will be their only guaranteed source of retirement income. 

Despite the life-saving benefits to seniors in the Commonwealth and around the country, Washington Republicans — led by Donald Trump — remain intent on gutting Social Security and other key safety nets like Medicare and Medicaid…

These are not the actions of a president who puts seniors first. They’re the actions of a president who has broken promise after promise to Pennsylvanians… Thankfully, on November 3rd we have a chance to put the country back on track with a vote for Vice President Joe Biden.” 

Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-18), U.S. House of Representatives:

“It’s a classic Trump move to propose a policy that endangers the solvency of Social Security right before the program’s 85th birthday. It simply boggles the mind. Social Security has given tens of millions of Americans peace of mind about their financial security in their old age or disability. And today, 65 million Americans rely on Social Security after having earned their benefits with their payroll tax contributions over many years. The problem is [that] Donald Trump’s payroll tax plan will help bankrupt Social Security…. 

That is outrageous and it’s unacceptable. Democrats want to shore up Social Security finances for the long run, and improve benefits so that nobody on Social Security has to live in poverty. And Joe Biden has a plan for that. Under President Biden’s plan, we’d put Social Security on a path toward long run solvency so that it can keep paying all the benefits Americans have been promised for decades.” 

Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-8), U.S. House of Representatives:

“Social Security was created as a promise to every American – a promise to the school teacher, the warehouse worker, the nurse that they would have a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work.

I have worked hard in Congress to protect its principle and build upon its ideals, but the latest White House actions taken in the name of COVID-19 relief would slash Social Security and Medicare funding for every American.

I will stay focused on improving health care and economic security for our seniors, and passing real coronavirus relief that meets the scope and scale of the crisis American workers and families are facing.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle (PA-2), U.S. House of Representatives:

“Simply put, Social Security is the greatest public policy innovation in the history of the US government. No other single program has lifted more people from poverty than Social Security. Second point, while we call it a program, and sometimes some call it an entitlement, that my view isn’t the best way to think of it. It is an earned benefit… 

My dad who worked for 50 years, paid for 50 years into Social Security. And now Social Security comprises the majority of his income in retirement. If suddenly some half baked crazy plan from Donald Trump is enacted, and Social Security is rendered bankrupt in 2026. I don’t know what millions of seniors like my father will do…. 

I also want to point out that this is not the first time Donald Trump has proposed cutting Social Security…. the White House 2018 budget, [called] for a $70 billion cut to Social Security in the White House 2019 budget, it called for a $72.5 billion cut to Social Security and in their fiscal year 2020 budget, a proposed a $26 billion cut to Social Security.” 

Jody Weinreich, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member:

“My husband Irv and I rely heavily on our Social Security retirement benefits and Irv’s Social Security disability benefits. Without them, we would not have been able to retire… We aren’t wealthy people and we need every dollar of our Social Security to make ends meet. Seniors pay for their housing, food and medicine with their Social Security, putting $1 trillion into our economy every year…. 

Donald Trump has spent 2020 telling the American public that he wants to cut Social Security…  If he is re-elected it could eliminate the program. I decided I had to speak out to stop his plan from taking effect, and so that I could help protect Social Security for ourselves and future generations.”

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