Congressman Fattah Opposes Privatizing Social Security

Date: Feb. 23, 2005
Location: Washington, DC

February 23, 2005

Congressman Chaka Fattah releases the following statement on privatizing Social Security.

Washington, DC - "Social Security continues to be an American success story. For more than 70 years, Social Security has been consistent in helping millions benefit from a secure retirement plan. While Social Security faces some long-term challenges, the system is not in crisis. The President's proposed privatization plan would jeopardize that security by cutting guaranteed benefits for future retirees and endangering the benefits of current retirees, people with disabilities, and children who have lost a parent.

"I strongly oppose the strategy to privatize Social Security and will work vigorously with my colleagues to resist any attempt by the President and a Republican led Congress to impose a plan that attacks future benefits for recipients who have placed their financial confidence in a proven system.

"While the Republican privatization proposition hurts everyone, African Americans and people with disabilities are at greater risk. Currently, more than 4.7 million African Americans receive Social Security benefits, and nearly 8 million people with disabilities depend on Social Security for their daily sustenance. On average, about three-quarters of all retirement income for African Americans is derived from Social Security, 40 percent of whom rely on those benefits to satisfy all their income needs. Without Social Security, poverty rates for African American seniors would more than double. Social Security provides more than half the total income for beneficiaries with disabilities and their families, while 1 in 5 rely on the program for nearly all of their income. As lawmakers, it is our duty to protect and provide for the most vulnerable in our society.

"I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to preserve the Social Security promise that provides secure retirement benefits for all, especially those who are most at risk such as widows, orphans, and people with disabilities when the need arises."