2010-08-20 / Community

Weiner Hosts Social Security Birthday Party

Representative Anthony Weiner and local seniors celebrated the 75th anniversary of Social Security last week with a cake to commemorate the passage of the landmark legislation.

“On this day in 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law during a ceremony in the White House Cabinet Room. Now, more than 50 million people receive Social Security benefits, and it accounts for about 39 percent of income for all retired households,” Weiner said. In New York City alone, there are more than 1,012,628 people age 65 and older, about 800,000 of whom receive Social Security checks. Eighteen percent of people 65 and over in New York City live below the poverty level.

Weiner, who has been a leading advocate for protecting Social Security from GOP opponents who want to privatize the successful program, spoke to seniors about the future of the legislation at the James Lenox House Association on the Upper East Side.

“Social Security is one of the most successful programs in our nation’s history,” Weiner said. “It’s solvent, it provides a security blanket for those who need it most, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to keep it that way.”

Even though Social Security ran a surplus of $137 billion last year, Republicans have repeatedly proposed privatizing the program and risking senior benefits on the fluctuations of the stock market. Rep. Paul Ryan even introduced a plan that would eventually cut social security benefits for new retirees by up to 28 percent, while Rep. John Boehner recently proposed raising the retirement age to 70. Weiner is author of legislation – the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) Fairness Act – that would help ensure that Social Security benefits keep up with rising costs in more expensive areas like New York City.

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