On Social Security’s Birthday, Democrats Recommit to Protecting It

Tennessee Republicans are intent on cutting benefits, raising retirement age, and privatization

Nashville, Tenn. (August 14, 2017) – Social Security turns 82 years old today. Since it’s inception, Social Security has been the most successful and popular government program in United States history. 1 of every 5  Tennesseans rely on Social Security, over 1.4 million people. For 1 in 3 elderly Tennesseans, Social Security is their only source of income.

“Social Security has ensured that generations of Americans are able to retire with dignity. Every Tennessean knows how important Social Security has been to their family,” said Mary Mancini, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Without Social Security, 413,000 elderly Tennesseans would be living in poverty. In total, Social Security keeps 22 million elderly Americans out of poverty. Tennessee’s economy benefits from $33 billion in economic output from Social Security.

“The cost of living in Tennessee is rising fast, and seniors across the state are struggling to stay in their homes and buy groceries. Despite knowing this, Tennessee’s Republican members of congress continue to propose raising the retirement age, cuts to Social Security benefits and dangerous privatization plans,” Mancini continued.

In 2012, Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander proposed raising the retirement age and moving to “chained CPI,” which would lower cost of living adjustments. Corker, listed at one time as the 10th wealthiest senator, worth over $50 million, is still pushing raising the retirement age.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn supported Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Social Security in 2010.

“Tennesseans are tired of multi-millionaires telling them they should have to work longer before they retire. If Rep. Blackburn and Paul Ryan had gotten their way, millions of Tennesseans could have lost the Social Security in the 2008 crash. We will fight any cuts or privatization of Social Security,” said Mancini.