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Joe Sestak Asks Retirees to Vote for Protecting Social Security

Joe Sestak Asks Retirees to Vote for Protecting Social Security

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – With just one week before Pennsylvanians head to the polls, U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak called on retirees everywhere to do what they can to Get Out the Vote next week to protect Social Security against threats of privatization.

After spending the morning greeting commuters and shoppers at Frankford Transportation Center, in several locations throughout Center City, and the Italian Market, Joe addressed members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Retirees, where he warned Congressman Toomey’s privatization plan would place the fate of the system in the hands of Wall Street.

“Congressman Toomey’s plan would gamble Social Security on the stock market,” said Joe. “This seems to be a familiar refrain from Pat Toomey – providing a windfall of billions for Wall Street at the expense of middle class Pennsylvanians. But as the financial collapse showed, we should not trust Wall Street with our long-term financial security.”

A retiree in October 2008 during the beginnings of the economic collapse, for example, would have lost $26,000 because of the market turmoil with the kind of private account Mr. Toomey advocates. Twenty million seniors — including 700,000 in Pennsylvania — would be at risk of poverty under Congressman Toomey’s privatization plan as Wall Street would reap billions in profits, all while adding $4.9 trillion to the national debt.

 “I know this is the wrong approach,” Joe said of Congressman Toomey’s plan. “We need to keep this vital program solvent for generations to come. There are responsible ways to do so without endangering benefits on the stock market.”

Joe has proposed solutions that would secure the long-term solvency of Social Security, including the Social Security lockbox and allowing the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to expire, a move that could cover Social Security’s shortfall over the next 75 years. Joe has also introduced legislation to correct failings in Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Joe said Toomey’s plan is reflective of his larger, extremist agenda that will do little to help Pennsylvania’s working families. To defeat this destructive plan, Joe said, will require the enthusiasm of people like those assembled to Get Out the Vote next week. 

“We cannot let the extremists and the special interests shout us down,” said Joe. “We entered public service to fight for ordinary Americans, and this is the moment we prove we can fulfill that public trust. Working families are struggling, and we cannot afford to kick the can down the road.”

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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