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Joe Advocates the Preservation of Social Security, Affordable Housing in Philadelphia

Retirement earnings and public housing in jeopardy
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak spoke with the residents of the James Weldon Johnson Homes regarding the security of their retirement savings and access to affordable housing.

“We need to honor our commitment to our senior community,” Joe told local residents. “You’ve raised your families, improved our neighborhoods and worked hard your whole lives. We cannot allow irresponsible policies to reduce the Social Security benefits that two-thirds of retirees rely on – a program that reduces the number of seniors living in poverty by a staggering 80 percent.

“I want to keep your social security as it is – with your full benefits. If your Social Security benefits were invested in Wall Street during a recession like this one, you would have seen your benefits cut in half. That’s why we don’t want to gamble your benefits on Wall Street. Congressman Toomey has said he wants to let people take their Social Security and hand it over to Wall Street. That would gut the program.”

Admiral Sestak wants to protect our seniors’ retirement security, not hand it over to Wall Street to gamble away. Social Security lifts 20 million seniors out of poverty, and by instituting a higher cap on payroll taxes, millionaires would be required to pay their fair share.

“Wall Street cannot be trusted to protect taxpayer money. If a retiree in October 2008 had put their savings in a private account like Congressman Toomey advocates, they would have lost $28,000 as a result of market fluctuations,” said campaign spokesperson Jonathon Dworkin. “This would be a windfall for Wall Street but a risky bet for our seniors’ security.”

More than 81,000 Philadelphians rely on public housing and more than 90,000 working families in Pennsylvania remain on waiting lists. On any given day, over 15,000 Pennsylvanians are homeless and during one school year, our state’s school districts provide services to approximately 13,000 homeless children.

“We must find a way to keep families in their homes and provide those without homes a low-cost alternative so they have a roof over their heads. Nearly half of all families that rent use more than 30 percent of their income for housing, leaving very little for other basic necessities,” said Joe. “We need to increase the quality of life in this city and we have to start by allowing families hurt by this recession to recover instead of living paycheck to paycheck. Without stable housing, hardworking families cannot save, keep their children in school, care for their elderly parents or begin to build a solid, more prosperous future.”

Joe Sestak co-sponsored the Social Security Fairness Act to repeal provisions that would have reduced monthly social security benefits and supports legislative efforts to credit Social Security revenue to a Trust Fund lock box, rather than the General Fund. He also supports funding public housing through the Public Housing Capital Fund, which produces $2.12 in local economic returns for every dollar invested.
Joe Sestak was elected to Congress in 2006 after a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Navy, and he is honored to represent the Southeastern Pennsylvania district where he was born and raised. He is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.  During his Navy career, Joe attained the rank of 3-star Admiral, served in the White House as Director for Defense Policy on President Clinton’s National Security Council, served in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (30 ships, 100 aircraft, and 15,000 sailors/marines/aviators/SEALs) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In our nation’s time of crisis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned to Joe Sestak to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks. Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to either branch of Congress. He graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Alex, and proudly represents the 7th District, where his mother and many of his seven siblings still reside.

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