2.5 Million Americans Tell White House: Expand Social Security

Dave Johnson

The White House Conference on Aging opens today as more than 2.5 million petition signatures of people calling for Social Security expansion were delivered to the White House.

This follows a Sunday letter to the White House from 70 Democratic senators and representatives asking President Obama to “expand Social Security benefits for millions of Americans.” The letter explains, “As employers continue moving from a defined benefit model to a defined contribution model of retirement savings, it is critical that we fight to protect and expand Social Security — the only guaranteed source of income in retirement.”

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich explains why Social Security needs to be expanded:

The more than 2.5 million petition signatures were collected by groups including the Campaign for America’s Future, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Family Voices, Center for Community Change Action, Courage Campaign, CREDO Action, Daily Kos, Democracy for America, Economic Policy Institute, Medicare Rights Center, MoveOn.org, National People’s Action, Pension Rights Center, National Organization for Women, People Demanding Action, People for the American Way, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, RH Reality Check, Social Security Works and The Nation.

Evolving Trends

The petitions and lawmakers’ letter were reported in The Hill, “Sanders, Democrats urging Obama to expand Social Security“:

In a letter to be delivered to the White House Monday, the lawmakers say evolving trends surrounding employer retirement packages have put a financial squeeze on the nation’s retirees. They want the president to fill the gap by expanding Social Security.

… The Democrats want a Social Security expansion to be “the number one retirement security recommendation” put forth by the White House.

The Democrats cite polls indicating that such an expansion is both necessary — “more than half (53 percent) of today’s working Americans are not expected to have sufficient resources upon retirement to maintain their standard of living,” they write — and enormously popular.

“This support crosses party lines: 90 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 73 percent of Republicans favor expanding Social Security,” they write.

Please visit Social Security Works, where you can add your name to their petition, “We have a retirement income crisis that needs to be addressed by expanding our Social Security system.”

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