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Aging with dignity

by Suzanne Bonamici

Just a few generations ago, many Americans lived the final years of their lives in poverty. Most depended on family and charity to care for them as they aged, while only the very wealthiest could afford to “retire.”

Everything changed when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security law 79 years ago today. Now Americans can retire with dignity and financial independence. Social Security has helped to establish a middle class life for Americans as they age. And it’s still going strong to this day.

You may have heard that Social Security is going broke. It’s a rumor spread by pundits and politicians, on cable talk shows and sometimes in the halls of Congress. But here’s what you need to know: At the end of 2013, Social Security had a $32 billion surplus and more than $2.7 trillion in reserves. Although we will need to make modest adjustments to the program over the years – just as we always have – the notion that Social Security is “going broke” is simply not accurate.

Many of the same people who are spreading rumors about Social Security say that the solution is to privatize it, and let Wall Street manage the money. I disagree. Social Security is there to give us a solid foundation for retirement, and its future should not be put at risk.

In Congress, I’ll oppose privatization and do everything I can to make sure that Social Security is there for you and for future generations.

Thank you for standing with me in these efforts.

Posted on August 14, 2014.