Thursday, June 12, 2008

Celebrating 25 years protecting Social Security and Medicare

My how time flies when you’re fighting the good fight.

The National Committee is celebrating its anniversary today at a National Press Club ceremony. A few hundred of our closest friends and allies will join us as we mark a quarter of a century devoted to the singular and unique mission of preserving America’s two most successful social insurance programs.

We’re so pleased to have many special guests attending today including, Congressman John Dingell (D-MI) Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and James Roosevelt, Jr., son of NCPSSM’s founder James Roosevelt, Sr. and grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt.

The National Committee will also present the 2008 Media Excellence Awards to Saul Friedman from Newsday whose column Gray Matters covers the political, economic, and social issues affecting older Americans, and Ronni Bennett, one of the first bloggers to engage in an in-depth conversation on elder issues with her thought-provoking and entertaining blog “Time Goes By”.

Our President/CEO, Barbara Kennelly gave us a sneak-peak of some of her remarks today:

Some might ask, "Why join an organization like the National Committee when you can just write or call Congress yourself?" Well -- the answer is simple...there is power in numbers. We know -- first hand -- the power of millions of voices versus one voice. That’s why time after time, issue after issue, our National Committee members have been united in the fight for what they believe. We believe in the social insurance mission of Social Security and Medicare, which is why we strongly oppose privatization.

As FDR himself once said…"Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth". That statement is as true today as it was when Social Security was created 73 years ago. Just because those who are fundamentally opposed to Social Security continue to say it’s a failed program, doesn’t mean it’s true. So, while we have had past successes in the battle over private accounts...the war over the long-term future of Social Security and Medicare continues. The same groups that want to turn Social Security over to Wall Street and Medicare over to private insurers, have been building the case that America "can’t afford" these programs...all under the guise of"entitlement reform". They’ve targeted young people in a cynical divide-and-conquer strategy to pit the young versus the old. Ultimately the hope is that our children and grandchildren will just give up on Social Security and Medicare because they’re been told these programs won’t be there for them anyway. Well, guess what? The National Committee won’t let that happen and we know neither will any of you.

So, here’s to another 25 years!

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