EIGHTY-FIVE years ago today President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. This program has since become the foundation of retirement security for nearly 65 million Americans, including 305,000 Granite Staters, who utilize Social Security every day to pay bills, rent, and to put food on the table. Social Security also provides for our neighbors living with disabilities. Simply put, the fundamental level of support offered by Social Security is critical to the well-being of so many Granite Staters.
As your former governor, I oversaw New Hampshire’s Social Security administration and know the importance of its commitment. The New Hampshire I know is full of people who are tough, and they do not ask for much from their government — just that it keeps its promises to them. There are not many promises Granite Staters have made with Washington more sacred than Social Security: they have been working hard and paying into it for decades with the promise that the money will be there for them when they retire.
We now know, however, that President Trump simply does not care about keeping that promise to New Hampshire — he has made this abundantly clear. This past weekend, he signed an executive order unilaterally cutting off the primary source of funding for Social Security — and said that if re-elected, he would end this funding permanently. What’s more, he has created uncertainty and anxiety for seniors amid a pandemic that continues to claim lives and devastate the economy.
In New Hampshire, we have lost more than 400 lives to the virus, and just a few months ago our state’s unemployment was the highest it has been since 1976. The coronavirus crisis has upended the lives of family members, neighbors and friends. Now is not the time to pull a lifeline from our seniors and the disabled. As with so many of the Trump administration’s actions, this idea was as cruel as it was poorly thought out.
But we don’t need to accept this as our new reality. We have a candidate with a plan to protect Social Security and strengthen benefits like Medicare for the millions of Americans who depend on them every day. That candidate is Joe Biden.
Biden’s plan will not only make Social Security solvent, it will also prevent any cuts to retirees or widows and widowers who are receiving benefits. Biden’s plan rejects proposals to gamble with our money in the stock market through privatizing the program, or to introduce means testing, whereby benefits would only be provided to individuals who met a certain level of income. Biden’s plan will address the long-term strength and stability of Social Security funding.
The bottom line is Joe Biden believes that Granite Staters should be able to retire with dignity. That shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
That is the kind of leadership our seniors and families desperately need right now. The president of the United States should not be working to take away a vital source of financial security for those who need it most, in the middle of a pandemic or otherwise. Granite Staters deserve a president in the White House who will lead our nation to unite around real solutions to the issues facing our communities. I am confident that leader is Joe Biden.
Joe Biden understands that Social Security is an American promise, and it’s one worth fighting for. So, in November vote like Social Security is on the chopping block — because it is.