Save Social Security; Not for “Lesser People,” As Former GOP Senator Says

Social Security

– Progressives say rein in our deficits in a way that protects middle class families and makes Wall Street clean up its own mess –

By Nita, Daniel, Duncan, Amy and MoveOn:

There’s a showdown coming in Washington.

On one side are conservatives and the Blue Dog Democrats. Most of them supported Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy and two unfunded wars.1 But now, they say, we have to focus on the deficit—even if it means cutting Social Security and leaving millions of Americans jobless for years.2 

On the other side are progressives who agree we have to rein in our deficits, but think we should do it in a way that protects the middle class and makes Wall Street clean up its own mess.

Here’s the scary part: the conservatives are winning hands down. They’re spending millions of dollars to push their position and hoping that the president’s new deficit commission—which is stacked with conservatives—will strike a deal to cut Social Security before the end of the year.3  

If we’re going to have a shot at stopping them, we need to start pushing back right now. So we’re spinning up a massive six-month campaign to make sure we deal with the deficit the right way—by getting the middle class back on their feet and making Wall Street pay its fair share—with polling, hard-hitting ads, and rallies all over the country.

Social Security belongs to the American people, who pay into it every working day of our lives. But this election could determine whether conservative budget hawks finally have their way and make deep cuts to our benefits.

And there is a disturbing pattern of conservative fear-mongering on Social Security that is ramping up each day. Most recently it was Republican Leader, John Boehner followed by several other Republican congressmen. And before that former Senator Alan Simpson, the head of a commission that will make recommendations on Social Security this fall, called Americans who rely on Social Security “lesser people.”

That’s why we’re kicking off a major campaign to push back on the lies about Social Security, hold politicians who want to cut it accountable, and get progressive solutions to the deficit—like a bold job creation program or making sure corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes—on the table.

Here’s some of what we’re planning:

  • Deep grassroots organizing:We’re going to organize MoveOn members in races to make sure those on the wrong side of the economy and Social Security hear about it everywhere they go. At the same time, MoveOn members across the country will be making sure that Democrats know that voters want an ambitious jobs program and they expect Wall Street and the super rich to pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Polling: We’re planning to poll in critical swing states and districts to show that voters don’t support conservative answers on the economy. We know that voters are more interested in jobs than Social Security cuts but in an election year, the only language that politicians understand is polling. And that’s what we’ll do.
  • Ads: We’re going to work on a cutting-edge media program to push out the voices of those who are hurting most in this economy so Washington hears from them directly. Their stories are powerful. And they’ll show politicians that cutting Social Security for the elderly or Medicaid from those who need it most is not the answer voters are looking for.

This is critical work


1. “An Incoherent Truth,” The New York Times, July 26, 2009

2. “Big Lies and Social Security: Peter Peterson’s Retirement is Secure,” AlterNet, October 16, 2007

“Blue Dogs took up the fight for doctors’ pay as poor lose health coverage,” The Washington Post, June 2, 2010

3. “Whacking the Old Folks,” The Nation, June 7, 2010


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