The Chairman’s Message
The Safety Net
Over 80 years ago Social Security was started under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the 1960s Medicare was put in place under President Lyndon Baines Johnson. These programs were called “Socialism” by some and a “The Safety Net” by others and a political war over their continued existence has been going on ever since. In the past 20 years public pensions and public education have become the targets of an additional political war. Why?
The answers as to why these battles continue do not always lie on the surface. They instead lie just below the surface and are rooted in people’s fear, jealousies, selfishness and prejudice. You have heard the surface excuses, “Why didn’t they plan for their retirement?”, “Why didn’t he buy enough insurance?”, “Why didn’t she save any money? She spent it on fancy clothes and cars.”, “He never took care of himself”, “Why should I pay taxes for schools, I don’t have any children in school?”, “You know how THEY are!”, “I pulled myself up by my bootstraps.”, “They are just lazy.”, “I take care of myself and my family. They should do the same”.
Brothers and Sisters we do not live alone on a desert island. We live in a community, a state, a country, a society and a world that we share with others. It’s not always easy but we have at least a moral obligation to help each other. When we help each other, doctors, psychiatrists and studies say we are healthier and happier.
Some politicians in Washington D.C. today do not understand or value the mental and physical health provided to the American people by social welfare programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and pensions. Millions of retired Americans only source of income is Social Security. Millions of American citizens can’t go to the doctor or hospital without Medicare. The majority of retired Americans today do not have a pension. What will happen to millions of retired Americans if The Safety Net is removed and some selfish, prejudice ignoramuses in Washington D.C. get their way?
It’s time to stand up for your rights. Call your congressional representative. Contact your Senators. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors. Tell them what will happen to you if these social programs are cut or repealed. Make no mistake about it these politicians are working on plans to remove The Safety Net or at least cut a gigantic hole in it. Your Union will be engaged in this fight. How about you?
Ron Duva, Chairman
CSEA Retiree Unit Board of Directors