A Better Choice: Protect and Expand Social Security

I hear from time to time, “Why are you running against Quigley? He’s one of the better Democrats.”

To begin with, the expression “better” Democrats is debatable when all of them are answerable to their corporate donors before anyone else. However, if we accept for the sake of discussion that there are “better” Democrats, is Quigley one of them?

For instance, my opponent has been given the opportunity many times to publicly state that he will support Social Security. He hasn’t done it. 

The organization The Other 98% compiled a chart of how representatives stand on every major letter, resolution, or bill since 2010 opposing cuts to Social Security benefits—especially the chained CPI. The chart shows that Quigley has rejected seven public opportunities since 2010 to take a stand in favor of protecting  the most successful anti-poverty program in our nation’s history. He won’t protect Grandma.

I will protect seniors, but simply pledging not to cut Social Security is not enough. What our seniors need is an expansion of Social Security with a reduction in the retirement age. I propose setting the retirement age at 58, rather than pushing the retirement age ever higher. This will allow more of our young people to take the jobs vacated by seniors. The unemployment rate for youth is now 16.2 %, more than twice the rate for older workers. The biggest employer of our young people now is the military, which is entirely funded by tax dollars. The tax money spent to send our young people into harm’s way would be far better spent in respecting and supporting our seniors and making space in the job market for youth.

In addition, I propose increasing the benefits allocated to seniors by 10% for those whose incomes are up to three times the poverty level. Low income seniors must spend their money on everyday needs. Such an increase in benefits would not only increase their quality of life but be a boost to the economy since it would create a lasting demand for everything they need, from groceries to home repair. Funding this increase in benefits could come from a small tax on Wall Street speculation, which would generate $350 billion of in revenue every year.

It’s time to support a candidate who stands for progressive principles. My opponent stands for undermining the safety net for seniors. I stand for strengthening it in ways that also strengthen our country. We must invest in our youth and our seniors and thereby benefit our economy. Which choice is better is clear.

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commented 2013-11-24 11:14:04 -0600 · Flag
Thank you