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Durbin to Join Murphy, Call for Social Security COLA Relief

Durbin to Join Murphy, Call for Social Security COLA Relief

Senator Durbin joined Patrick Murphy and local seniors to call on Congress to pass the Seniors Protection Act, providing a Cost of Living Adjustment for seniors

(Bristol, PA) – On Wednesday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin joined Patrick Murphy and a dozen seniors at the Lower Bucks Activity Center to emphasize the need to protect and strengthen Social Security. Murphy called on Congress to pass the Seniors Protection Act of 2010 when it reconvenes in November, in light of the Social Security Administration’s announcement that there will not be a COLA in 2011. The bill provides a $250 payment to approximately 54 million Social Security recipients.

Social Security recipients have seen daily expenses rise for prescription  drugs, utilities, housing, and food while Social Security benefits have remained unchanged. The Social Security administration announced recently that because of current economic conditions, there will be no COLA for 2011 for the second year in a row. Though it is not the result of Congressional inaction as the COLA is set by a long standing formula, this is unprecedented. This bill will provide relief for the millions of seniors who depend on Social Security benefits for their daily survival. 

Murphy and Durbin were joined by local seniors in expressing the need to protect the program against the efforts of those like former Congressman Fitzpatrick who seek to privatize Social Security.

“Congressman Fitzpatrick had his chance to stand up for Bucks County seniors but instead, he supported President Bush’s reckless scheme to put Social Security savings into the hands of Wall Street,” said Murphy.

Levittown senior Eleanor Guerriero said that she didn’t know what she’d do if Fitzpatrick had gotten his way and privatized Social Security. She saw her 401(k) devastated by the economic downturn and wondered how she’d be able to pay for daily expenses and medicines, which cost over 20% of her benefit, if the same had happened with her Social Security benefits. 

As Congressman, Fitzpatrick supported President Bush’s risky scheme to hand seniors’ Social Security to the same Wall Street traders who sank our economy. He also voted against a measure that would have ensured Social Security payroll taxes would not be diverted into private investment accounts. And at a recent forum, the former GOP Congressman continued his attack on Social Security, which he called a “broken” entitlement that no longer made sense economically, despite the thousands of Bucks County seniors who need those benefits to survive.[i]
 
“I depend on my Social Security benefits to pay for prescriptions and my daily expenses, and I don’t know how I would get by if Mike Fitzpatrick had put my retirement on Wall Street,” said Guerriero.
 
Had Fitzpatrick succeeded, our retirement savings would have been in the hands of the same Wall Street traders who wrecked our economy. He is on record multiple times, in favor of putting Social Security into private accounts, including:

· “On Social Security, Fitzpatrick favors private savings accounts, saying the system needs to be better secured. However, he wants to see a more detailed plan from the president. That’s a different stance from the one Fitzpatrick took during his election, when he came out against privatization. Fitzpatrick insists there’s a distinction between privatization (or partial privatization) and the proposed savings accounts, and that he hasn’t broken campaign promises. He couldn’t name the distinction.” [Bucks County Courier Times, 02/20/05] 

·  “Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick said he agrees with the president’s plans for Social Security. ‘The president talked about how to strengthen the system for the future. The system is broken and it must be fixed and I believe he said all ideas are on the table,’ Fitzpatrick said.” [Bucks County Courier Times, 2/3/05]

 ·   “We had three entitlements. They were all broken.” [Bucks County Herald, 5/6/10

·  “Fitzpatrick says he favors the private accounts, but he’s been unwilling to go much further on what should be done with the 70-year-old safety net, saying ‘I haven’t seen anything in writing.’” [Bucks County Courier Times, 04/10/05]

·  “And he defended President George Bush’s efforts to revamp Social Security. There are too many seniors receiving and too few young workers to support the program, he said.  ‘We don’t have as many children as we once did,’ he said.” [Bucks County Courier Times, 04/23/05] 

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