By Congressman Pete Gallego —
When President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law â€“
it was considered a controversial program. Now considered a cornerstone
of society, the retirement program was created as a result of the
devastating effects of the Great Depression. Many Americans lost their
entire lives' savings and many seniors â€“ their source of income.
Today, many Americans rely on Social Security. This program is
crucial to the United States middle class. If we want to strengthen the
middle class, we need to protect and strengthen Social Security.
More than 56 million Americans rely on Social Security benefits. More
than 110,000 Texas in the 23rd congressional district receive benefits
through this program.
For 64 percent our nation's seniors, Social Security provided at
least half their income. A whopping 35 percent of people receiving
Social Security depend on the program for 90 percent or more of their
income. That's huge. It is a lifeline. Social Security is now providing
an even bigger share of income than it did in 1962.
It is important to reiterate that Social Security is an earned
benefit. That means, it is one that our parents and grandparents have
paid into the entirety of their lives.
The idea that we would give our parents and grandparents a coupon and
then leave them on their own to negotiate with insurance companies is
both disrespectful and offensive.
Despite what many believe, Social Security is still running a
surplus. That means that total income for the program was higher than
expenditures. That's good news for those worried the program is going
broke. Social Security is a vital program which provided security for
millions of Texas seniors and their families. Social Security is a
commitment that has been made – and it is a commitment that must be
I look forward to continuing working to strengthen, protect and
preserve the promise of Social Security for seniors today – and to
ensure that American workers of tomorrow have inherit a strong
retirement system. It's important to maintain a strong middle class, and
it's important for our country.