Congressman Michael Turner | Proudly Serving Ohio's 10th District

Columns

Social Security meets the needs of America’s senior citizens for 75 years

f t # e
Washington, Aug 17, 2010 | comments
For 75 years, Social Security has kept an estimated 40 percent of senior citizens out of poverty, and has given more than 90 percent of Americans age 65 and older, a stable source of income. No government program directly touches as many Americans as Social Security.
share: f t

By Congressman Michael Turner

On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. This landmark legislation has provided our senior citizens with a basic level of retirement security for 75 years. 

As President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, he acknowledged that “We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”  For three quarters of a century, Social Security has signified a time-honored trust between our government and generations of hard-working Americans. I am committed to protecting that trust.

For 75 years, Social Security has kept an estimated 40 percent of senior citizens out of poverty, and has given more than 90 percent of Americans age 65 and older, a stable source of income. No government program directly touches as many Americans as Social Security. According to the Social Security Administration, 94 percent of all workers (approximately 159 million Americans) are covered under Social Security. 

In addition to retirement benefits, Social Security has provided a measure of financial stability to millions of disabled Americans, their dependents, and the survivors of deceased workers.  For many retirees, Social Security is the difference between a degree of comfort and poverty.  For those still in the workforce, Social Security is a promise of future support.

As Americans live longer and healthier lives, and as the “baby boom” generation reaches retirement age, the long-term sustainability of the Social Security program has raised significant concerns for those paying into the system, as well as for current and future beneficiaries. The solvency of the Social Security system faces a challenge in the long run, and this challenge must be addressed in a fiscally-responsible manner.

Americans who have contributed to the Social Security system through a lifetime of hard work deserve the peace of mind of knowing that their earned benefits will be available at the time that they retire. I am committed to preserving and strengthening Social Security for the more than 53 million beneficiaries now on the rolls, and for the millions of Americans who will one day rely on the program.

I oppose changes to the benefits of current or near-retirees, and believe we must preserve, protect and strengthen Social Security.  President Obama has said he expects the report of his Commission on Deficit Reduction to include innovative recommendations to protect Social Security.  I look forward to the Administration presenting their recommendations to Congress. 

In addition, the Social Security Administration handles several important federal programs and I am always happy to advocate on behalf of constituents who are having problems with their Social Security benefits. If you need help with a retirement or disability claim, or a missing Social Security check, feel free to contact my Dayton district office at 937-225-2843. You can also reach the Social Security Administration by calling 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or by visiting their website: www.ssa.gov.

f t # e