MPA Celebrates Program’s Continued Success on 78th Anniversary
On the 78th anniversary of the creation of Social Security, the Maine People’s Alliance released a report detailing the importance of the program to Maine and called on the state’s Congressional delegation to continue to support and invest in the program.
The report, Social Security Works for Maine, examines the impact of the program on Maine residents and the state’s economy. For Maine, the state with the oldest population in the nation, almost a quarter of the population receives benefits from Social Security, benefits which account for 7.6% of the state’s total personal income. The program also has a sizable impact on keeping Maine seniors out of poverty. From 2009-2011 it was estimated that almost 40% of Mainers over 65 were kept out of poverty because of Social Security.
“For 78 years, even as our nation endured wars, political and economic crises, Social Security has never missed a payment; and it’s paid every dollar on time and in full,” said Eileen Ward, an MPA member from Bangor. “As we celebrate the success of this program, we wish and hope for another 78 successful years."
The report comes as Congress prepares to take up issues in the fall including the federal budget and deficit. Corporate-backed groups like Fix the Debt have lobbied lawmakers to make cuts to retirement security programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to protect tax breaks for corporations as part of a "grand bargain" around the budget.
To celebrate Social Security’s birthday, MPA members will be sharing cupcakes and birthday cake with staff from Senator King’s office across the state in the coming weeks to remind Senator King of the importance of protecting and strengthening the Social Security system.
"Social Security is a vitally important program that my neighbors and my family depend on for survival," said Ellen Harris-Howard of Lebanon. "Maine's elected officials in Washington must reject any attempts to cut benefits and instead make sure that the program I've paid into my entire working life is protected and strengthened for my generation, and for generations to come."
A link to the full report can be found here.