Action Alert #47 – Keep Social Security Off the Fiscal Cliff!

Some members of Congress are trying to make changes to Social Security as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Changes to Social Security will make no difference to the national debt! SSA accounting is separate.

Changes in how retirement payments are calculated and how much workers should contribute need to be studied and carefully planned. Using Social Security as a political football is exactly how the Government Pension offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision were created in the first place. We can’t let them weaken Social Security again! Decisions that affect the well-being of millions of older Americans now and in the future should be made on their own merits with plenty of open discussion to discover unintended consequences—not in backroom political deals.

There are a number of groups planning protests on Monday, demanding that Social Security be kept off the fiscal cliff, as well as other issues. Here is a link to one that Moveon is organizing with different demonstrations including various groups around the country. It is easy to find one that may be near you: (link removed, no longer valid)

Attached is a sign you can print out onto regular letter-sized paper if you want to join others in protest on the streets. (print two and attach them back to back to a wooden paint stirrer, and you’ve got a sign) Remember, you are educating others about the Offsets while you protest. Here is a link to some of the handouts on our website that you can give to people.

Otherwise, just keep on hitting your Congress members with your insistence that they repeal the GPO and WEP! Don’t cut Social Security! Make it stronger and make it FAIR!

Thank you!!!

FYI: Here is the Alliance for Retired Americans’ summary of where things were at the end of this past week:

Fiscal Cliff Talks Continue as Republicans Put a Plan on the Table
House GOP leaders endorsed a debt-reduction plan on Monday that would raise tax collections by $800 billion over the next decade, but they refused to budge on higher tax rates for the wealthy. Boehner outlined the proposal in a Monday letter to President Obama in which he said the GOP will not support any plan that increases tax rates.

Boehner is using the plan of Erskine Bowles, a co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, as the basis for the Republican plan. The plan would gradually increase the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, and implement a less generous formula for calculating cost of living adjustments in Social Security – the “Chained CPI..

President Obama’s proposal, introduced in late November, raises taxes on the wealthiest 2%, fixes the Medicare “doc fix” for physician payments, provides stimulus and mortgage refinance funding, and extends unemployment insurance. It calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue, $50 billion in stimulus funds and effectively ends Congressional control over the debt ceiling.

We need to keep reminding them that now is not the time to meddle with Social Security. Yes, the system needs a major overhaul, including getting rid of the GPO/WEP, but that must be done at a time when we aren’t hanging over the edge of a cliff!