Birthday Wishes and a Warning

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Only a couple weeks ago the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans and many others across the nation celebrated the 73rd birthday of the single most successful program in the history of our country, Social Security. Even though it has kept many millions out of poverty as they have grown older, just last month John McCain described its very structure as ’€œa disgrace.’€ Today the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans are remembering another birthday, John McCain’€™s 72nd. Here is their special birthday message to the senator from Arizona along with a warning to seniors:

The Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans (WIARA) is offering birthday wishes to Sen. John McCain, who turns 72 today, but warned seniors his own age would be hurt dramatically by Social Security privatization schemes McCain supports.

‘€œWe wish Sen. McCain a happy 72nd birthday,’€ said Leon Burzynski, WIARA President. ‘€œBut we also wish Sen. McCain would drop his support for the disastrous idea of privatizing Social Security and putting seniors and children at risk.’€

McCain has supported privatization of Social Security and claimed that, without privatization, Social Security would cease to exist over time. He also said the way Social Security is currently structured and financed was a ‘€œdisgrace.’€ [Denver Town Hall Meeting, 7/7/08]

Almost 950,000 Wisconsinites rely on Social Security, according to the Social Security Administration, including 640,000 retirees. Over 17 percent of the state’€™s population relies on Social Security benefits every month.

‘€œSocial Security has been one of the most successful programs in American history to provide help to those who need it most,’€ said Burzynski. ‘€œWe ask Sen. McCain to withdraw his support for a risky privatization scheme which could place nearly 1 million Wisconsinites at risk.’€

Children are huge beneficiaries of Social Security and, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 14,000 Wisconsin children have been lifted out of poverty by Social Security. Nationwide, it is nearly one million children in need have benefited.

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