Social Security Should Be Off the TableJuly 07, 2011
Recent media reports have suggested that the White House, along with congressional leaders from both parties, might consider proposing cuts to Social Security benefits. While we hope the reports are untrue, this is the right moment to tell President Obama and our political leaders to leave Social Security alone.
Social Security must not be a bargaining chip during deficit-reduction negotiations. Social Security did not cause the federal deficit — in fact, the program is “off budget” — and it should not be looted to address America’s financial problems, especially at the expense of working families who depend on its programs the most. AAUW has long believed in the idea of shared sacrifice and budgets that balance individual rights with responsibilities to the greater community.
Cuts to this vital program would be all pain, no gain for countless Americans, especially for older women, more than half of whom would fall into poverty without Social Security benefits. While these are tough economic times, there is a right way and a wrong way to balance the budget. In the end, it comes down to priorities. The budget must not be balanced on the backs of those who can least afford it. AAUW urges policy makers to stand strong and keep Social Security cuts off the negotiating table.