The debate over the future of Social Security is an issue that everyone should be paying close attention to. The United Church of Christ Justice and Peace Ministries reports:
Despite its reputation as an untouchable sacred cow, the Social Security program has been vigorously attacked throughout its history, especially by those who oppose federal government involvement in major social programs. It is currently under attack by those who want to privatize Social Security. Those who, by and large, already have secure retirements have proposed that persons be allowed to direct funds to private investments instead of keeping money in the general social insurance pool that protects against poverty and provides a floor of income for everyone who retires or becomes disabled.
Unfortunately, the level of current political debate has too often translated into misdirection and misstatements by those on both side of the issue of privatization—and by those using Social Security as a bargaining chip in debates about the federal budget.
In 1999, the United Church of Christ joined 22 other denominations and national religious groups in a statement of common religious principles that support Social Security. The 3rd principle begins as follows.
We support the basic concept of social insurance (a proven method for enhancing the common good) which is the foundation of Social Security. Retirement benefits provide an income floor for workers who have contributed to the the common good through their labor. It is a good thing to respect and reward such labor by making sure that when age or disability constrains the ability to work, those who have contributed to the common good should have their most elementary needs met by the society to which they contributed.
Make sure that you visit www.thereisnocrisis.com for updates as the President attempts to dismantle Social Security. Also read Privatization: A Threat to the Common Good [PDF] for additional background articles and Biblical reflection on our responsibilities to the elderly.
Update: Click here for the just released UCC Action Alert on Social Security.