The Fight to Preserve Social Security

For a PDF version of this, click here: Social Security

Following the 2004 elections, then-President George W. Bush announced that he had accumulated “political capital” and that he “intended to use it.”

One of his top goals was to privatize Social Security.

And USAction was determined to stop him.

One of Bush’s very first stops in his campaign to divert Social Security funds into private funds was in the supposedly safe state of North Dakota. Only North Dakota turned out to be not so safe. When Bush showed up, members of USAction affiliate NDPeople.org were there.

And we were there in Ohio and Florida and Illinois and New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

All in all, with our affiliates, we coordinated 1,300 rallies across the country. More than 50,000 people called on Congress to take a stand against privatization. We knew that Social Security is one of our most successful and important social programs. It is the promise we make to care for each other and safeguard our society. It has helped to keep millions out of poverty and ensure a stable future for all Americans.

And we were going to keep it.

During the fight to preserve Social Security, USAction President William McNary was on the front lines, talking poignantly about how Social Security prevented his parents and his children from slipping into poverty. “A Social Security card is more than just a document,” he said. “It’s more than just a card with your name on it that you carry around in your wallet. Social Security is a promise from one generation to the next.  A promise that we cannot allow this generation to break.”

USAction provided the key grassroots organizing capacity for Americans United to Protect Social Security, the national anti-privatization coalition, during that successful 2005 fight. But Social Security remains endangered today, and USAction continues to play a role in its defense, providing much of the ground strength for the new coalition Social Security Works.

Social Security is our promise to America. We are going to keep that promise.

We are USAction. We are the true majority.