We are faced with a fight to protect Social Security on the program’s anniversary

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Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.

Last weekend, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to eliminate the funding source for Social Security that hundreds of thousands of Granite State seniors rely on to pay for things like medical prescriptions and rent. Governor Sununu and Trump’s GOP cronies have remained silent, but Granite Staters can’t.

Consider where we are as a nation right now: over 1,000 Americans are dying each day from the Coronavirus, a disease that particularly targets seniors and the most vulnerable. Tens of millions of Americans are losing their jobs as a result, and with it their health care in many cases. Faced with these rolling public health and economic crises, Americans should be pulling together to look out for one another, and our state and federal governments should be at the forefront. We need a government response that marshals our nation to respond to the COVID pandemic and the economic carnage that it has created; at a minimum, that means shoring up crucial programs and institutions that protect the most vulnerable Americans.

Instead, even in the middle of a crisis, President Trump is prioritizing the longstanding Republican goal of destroying the social safety net. His executive order will do nothing for the millions of Americans out of work in Trump’s COVID economy; all it will really do is damage the retirement of every American.

What’s more, Trump has repeatedly said that if re-elected, he will make this defunding of Social Security and Medicare permanent. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a candidate who promised he’d protect Granite Staters’ Social Security and Medicare, and insisted that no one would be better for seniors than him. It’s a reminder that this is not a campaign designed to lift up our nation, but one built on division. The Trump campaign, just like the Trump Administration, is just one broken promise after another, a series of bigger and bigger lies to hide the fact that Trump’s goal is enriching himself and his allies at the expense of our most vulnerable. What other explanation is there for taking away the bedrock of a secure retirement for New Hampshire’s seniors in the middle of a pandemic?

When it comes to steering us through this crisis and protecting our retirements, there’s no comparison between the GOP’s cruelty and Democrats’ staunch, clear commitment to preserve and improve the program led by Joe Biden’s vision.

Joe Biden and his Democratic allies will keep their promise to keep Social Security solvent and protect our benefits. He’ll prevent cuts of any kind to retirees and work to put the program on a stronger footing.  Meanwhile, Trump and Republicans are forcing our seniors out into the cold because they believe tax breaks for big business matter more.

Biden opposes privatization plans that would effectively gamble with the funds on Wall Street, while Trump and Republicans fantasize about that prospect even today, barely 10 years after the financial tricks of the Great Recession cost millions of Americans their retirement savings.

Joe Biden knows that working families built this country. They deserve to retire with the dignity that comes with financial security, quality, affordable health care, and long term care.

Today, Social Security turns eighty-five years old. On this anniversary, let’s remember that generations of  Granite Staters have gained a secure retirement from it, and that its future here will depend on defeating Trump and his Republican allies in November.

Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? We welcome thoughtful opinion and letter to the editor-style prose on topics of interest. Send submissions to carolrobidoux@manchesterinklink.com.

Pam Jorgenson is a Manchester resident and the Co-Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party Senior Caucus

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