Senator Elizabeth Warren continues to be one of the few beacons of light and progressive leadership in the US Congress. Last month the Massachusetts Democrat demanded that our nation strengthen Social Security benefits, as more citizens than ever before are struggling financially, experiencing food insecurity or living in poverty. For millions of seniors, their monthly Social Security payments are the only thing that keeps them from being homeless, hungry and destitute.
As increasing numbers of families are unemployed and in need of government assistance or food stamps just to barely survive, the notion of further weakening our nation’s already shredded safety net is madness. In Senator Warren’s remarks, she highlighted the destructive lunacy of cutting Social Security during this time of economic crisis, as well as why the program is such an important lifeline for countless seniors:
“Social Security isn’t the answer to all of our retirement problems. We need to find ways to tackle the financial squeeze that is crushing our families. We need to help families start saving again. We need to make sure that more workers have access to better pensions. But in the meantime – so long as these problems continue to exist and so long as we are in the midst of a real and growing retirement crisis – a crisis that is shaking the foundations of what was once a vibrant and secure middle class – the absolute last thing we should be doing is talking about cutting back on Social Security.
The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch.
Over the past generation, working families have been hacked at, chipped, and hammered. If we want a real middle class — a middle class that continues to serve as the backbone of our country — then we must take the retirement crisis seriously. Seniors have worked their entire lives and have paid into the system, but right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse.
That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them. Senator Harkin from Iowa, Senator Begich from Alaska, Senator Sanders from Vermont, and others have been pushing hard in that direction. Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”
Could Basic Income Help Income Inequality?
And after Social Security benefits are sufficiently strengthened, perhaps the next sensible public policy reform discussion to be had in our country should be about implementing a guaranteed Basic Income?image via the Rachel Maddow Show