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Letter to the House of Representatives Urging Members NOT to Cut Social Security Benefits

October 04, 2010

Dear Representative:


On behalf of our 3.2 million active and retired members, the National Education Association urges you to co-sign the letter to President Obama, now being circulated by Representatives Raul Grijalva, John Conyers and Dan Maffei, and to co-sponsor the resolution, soon to be introduced by Representative Gabrielle Giffords, that oppose cutting Social Security benefits or raising the age at which workers become eligible for full retirement benefits.

More than 53 million Americans receive Social Security retirement, disability or survivor benefits. While those benefits are modest—less than $13,000 a year, on average—they are enough to keep 20 million Americans from descending into poverty. Social Security is also a vital part of the safety net for the children who are our nation’s future, ensuring them support even if a parent dies or becomes disabled.

Social Security has a $2.6 trillion surplus, which is projected to rise to $4.2 trillion by 2025. This surplus makes it possible to pay all promised benefits for the next 27 years and 75 percent of promised benefits for 75 more years—maybe longer. The projected shortfall could be addressed by allowing the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% to expire at the end of 2010, as scheduled; lifting the ceiling on the payroll tax that funds Social Security; reinstating the estate tax that dropped to zero this year; or by other means.

The vast majority of Americans oppose cutting Social Security for good reason: the current system is a product of hard work, honoring our parents and caring for our neighbors, the values that have made America great. For the sake of our nation’s future, please voice your support for Social Security—and opposition to benefit cuts—by co-signing the letter to President Obama and co-sponsoring Representative Giffords’ resolution.

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson        
Director of Government Relations

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy