Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
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The Best Federal Program



There  was standing room only at the Greenwood Senior Center Monday afternoon as a broad coalition of retirees, social activists and labor organizations joined together to sing “happy birthday” to Social Security. The program – rightly heralded as “the nation’s best federal program” – was signed into law 75 years ago by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Seniors gather to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Social Security in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.

Seniors gather to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Social Security in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.

Since then, Social Security has provided a lifeline not only for seniors and retirees, but for the disabled and for families who have lost their breadwinner.  Without Social Security benefits, one half of seniors today would fall below the poverty line.

Headliners for the 75th birthday celebration were Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Jim McDermott.  They both reminded the audience of the serious recent threat to Social Security, when the last administration pushed to privatize the system, making benefits dependent on gains and/or  losses on Wall Street.

“Would you have wanted your retirement invested with Goldman Sachs?” asked Sen. Murray.

Congressman Jim McDermott addresses seniors while Sen. Patty Murray looks on.

Congressman Jim McDermott addresses seniors while Sen. Patty Murray looks on.

McDermott reminded the audience that Roosevelt had pushed Social Security through Congress during the depths of the Great Depression in 1935 when unemployment stood at 25 percent nationwide.

McDermott  said, “It took him two years to get Social Security through Congress.” The congressman warned the audience to beware of those who, even today, are threatening to weaken the Social Security program.

Many in the audience signed a letter addressed to President Obama, to congressional leaders and to members of Washington’s congressional delegation urging them to fight to preserve a strong Social Security system for Americans of all generations. The letter pointed out that, contrary to the rhetoric of conservatives, Social Security financing remains sound. Payroll taxes have built a $2.5 trillion surplus, enough to carry the Trust Fund through 2037 when average wages will be higher than today.

The Greenwood audience also watched a film prepared by the Older Women’s League of Seattle/King County. The film told stories of Americans whose lives have been forever changed for the better by Social Security.

Social Security 75th Birthday Celebration in Seattle.

Social Security 75th Birthday Celebration at Greenwood Senior Center in Seattle.

At the conclusion of the rally, the crowd celebrated with sparkling cider and cake. There could be no doubt that this is a strong coalition, a coalition that forthrightly supports the best federal program.

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Comment from imrenler
Time September 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

thank for this blog