Social Security: R’s and D’s Sign the Pledge

By October 25, 2006General

You might recall this piece from a little while ago about the non-partisan group For Our Grandchildren and their efforts to save Social Security. They circulated a letter and a very simple pledge to every Capitol Hill Office and to most candidates. It obligates the signer to put all options on the table in an effort to find a long-term solution to Social Security.

Well, yesterday they announced that some 164 people have signed the pledge. (Incumbents are highlighted in yellow at the link.) What’s more, in today’s bitterly partisan atmosphere, the signers appear to be almost perfectly bipartisan: 76 Democrats and 78 Republicans. Of the 164, 23 are incumbents. Some 11 Democrat incumbents have broken ranks with their party leaders and have eschewed the pressure put on them by Reps. Rangel (D-NY) and Levin (D-MI).

In this article by Keith Koffler in yesterday’s Congress Daily, a thuggish-sounding spokesperson for the AFL-CIO mouthpiece (forget that their members want personal accounts) is quoted as saying that, “his group will contact the Democratic lawmakers and predicted most or all of them will withdraw their signatures.” Hmmm… Does the phrase, “heavy-handed” come to mind? Sounds like somebody’s gonna find a horse’s head in their bed if they don’t take their name off this letter. Guess these folks aren’t allowed to think for themselves.

In any event, here’s a link to For Our Grandchildren’s press release marking this historic day and here’s a link to a map where you can see who has signed the pledge. Oh, and here’s a link to the pledge. If your lawmaker hasn’t already signed it, tell them to get with the bi-partisan program.

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Luonne Dumak says:

    Paul Ryan and John Sununu have an excellent plan for Social Secuity. This should have been done years ago.If S.S. had been privatized years ago todays Seniors would be getting at least twice as much money each month. The Democrats like the Maxist run plan and if they get their way we will have Socialized medicine to add to our problem.

  • Feverishb says:

    The first step to fixing Social Security is simply for public servants to commit themselves to bridge their differences and to fix it.
    Here are some facts about the costs of delay, all of which can be verified at

    The total shortfall in Social Security is now $13.4 Trillion. That’s up from $10.5 T in the 2003 report, and the majority of the increase is solely due to the loss of time.

    The cost of paying Social Security benefits will exceed Social Security revenues by 2017. That isn’t going to change appreciably, no matter what. Even if all the economic and demographic variables break in one direction, there’s only a 10% chance that the permanent deficits will be delayed past 2020, only a 2.5% chance past 2022.

    The projections bounce around a bit from year to year, but they never change all that much. The projection of 2017 as the crunch date happens to be the same projection made in the 1991 report. Since 1991, we’ve lost 15 of our 26 years of lead time. This seriously constrains our ability to craft an equitable solution.

    Already, the 75-year deficit is significantly bigger than the one that the Greenspan Commission confronted in a crisis atmosphere in 1981-83 (even relative to our larger economy.)

    Public officials need to stop inventing reasons to avoid fixing Social Security, stop attacking those who have stepped forward with proposed solutions, and to get this done.

  • Mike Chamberland says:

    Well, this is seriously refreshing news. Maybe there are people out there thinking for them selves after all. Maybe the system can work. At least pre-election anyway… Am I reading between the lines correctly? Does that list of signers really tell me that the ratio of incumbents to future incumbents is more than slightly skewed toward the group of people who are trying to get elected by the people they know? Do these people really know that the people about to elect them are asking for a stronger social security system? Wahoo term limits! Go Bipartisan! Make logical decisions! Live long, and prosper off your own account.
    Thank you to those of you who are finally willing to at least talk about the issue and search for a solution. And hey, what’s a horse’s head between friends anyway.

  • A democrat says:

    What a relief to see non-partisan movement on a highly politically charged issue. I’m especially impressed by the democrats–incumbents and challengers–who have chosen wanting to fix Social Security over keeping it as a political tool to re-gain power. A breath of fresh air–and a smidgeon of hope for the future.

  • Nicola says:

    This ridiculously polarizing tactic by the AFL-CIO is exactly the kind of behavior that made Social Security the political “third rail” for so long, but America can’t afford inaction any longer. The first baby boomer will retire in 2008 and the deficit facing the current system today is far greater than it was when the Greenspan Commission reformed the system in 1983.

    It’s a shame that when our law makers finally step up, act responsibly, and agree to keep all options on the table (as the For Our Grandchildren pledge calls for) in order to take reform seriously they are abused for it.

    Hopefully these 11 Democrats will maintain the courage of their convictions and inspire the rest of Congress to acquire the same backbone to do something to fix Social Security.

  • Ruby's Dad says:

    Supporters of the status quo will go to any lengths to keep the program exactly the way it is. Pretty amazing that the party of progressives and progressive ideas has become a hang-out for reactionaries and their running buddies.

  • Heidib says:

    Thanks for helping to mark this “historic” event Pat. It is a big deal. The problems facing Social Security are serious, but politicians have done nothing but try to take options off the table. Can we please just get everyone TO the table?