Ever since President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s son, Rep. James Roosevelt, Sr., founded our organization to protect Social Security and Medicare in 1982, we have not endorsed presidential candidates, focusing instead on congressional races. Until now. For the first time in 38 years, we are throwing our weight behind Joe Biden for President of the United States. As an organization rooted in the social insurance policies of FDR’s New Deal — and after observing relentless attacks on lifeline programs like Social Security and Medicare — we could not in good conscience remain neutral this year.
For us, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the president’s reckless payroll tax cut, which he unilaterally imposed in an executive order last month. Without hesitation, he interfered with the funding stream for Social Security, going so far as to pledge to “terminate” payroll taxes altogether in his second term. Social Security’s chief actuary estimates that if payroll taxes were to be terminated (without replacing the lost revenue), the program’s trust fund would run dry by 2023. A president who promises to cut off the revenue for one of our most cherished and successful social insurance programs should not be re-elected.
“There’s a reason Social Security and Medicare have been around for 85 and 55 years. Americans value and depend on them,” says FDR’s grandson and vice-chair of our advisory board, James Roosevelt, Jr. “Joe Biden is the candidate who can be trusted to protect seniors’ earned benefits from any attempts to undermine or privatize them.”
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