***MEDIA ADVISORY***

HARKIN STAFF TO HOLD MOBILE OFFICE “FIX IT, DON’T NIX IT” SOCIAL SECURITY TOUR IN LEMARS AND ONAWA (IOWA)

Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that a member of his staff will be conducting Social Security forums in LeMars and Onawa on June 8. The public forums will discuss the need to protect and strengthen Social Security without risking its future through privatization.

“I want to work with the president to strengthen Social Security, but I want to do it right,” Harkin said. “There is no excuse to rush into a plan that will cut benefits for America’s seniors, adds trillions to the debt, and does nothing to strengthen the program. That is unacceptable and the American people are rejecting that approach.”

President Bush’s privatization commission has proposed creating private Social Security accounts that would cut benefits by one-third or more, even for those who choose not to invest in privatized accounts. Workers could invest two-thirds of their Social Security contribution in stocks and bonds, but those returns could not make up for the deep benefit cuts and would be subject to the whims of Wall Street.

Even many supporters of the president’s plan acknowledge that private accounts have nothing to do with ensuring the long-term financial health of Social Security. In fact, to fund the private accounts, the government would have to borrow almost $5 trillion dollars over the first 20 years from foreign countries like China and Japan – making Social Security’s financial problems much worse and even further from being solved.

“We must be responsible and take reasonable, moderate steps to strengthen Social Security for future generations,” Harkin said. “Millions of Iowa seniors, Americans with disabilities and others who rely on Social Security are depending on Congress and the president to protect this program. I hope the president will work with Congress to do just that.”

THE DETAILS
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2005

TIME: 10:00 a.m.
STAFF: MAUREEN WILSON
LOCATION: ONAWA PUBLIC LIBRARY
MEETING ROOM
707 IOWA AVENUE
ONAWA

TIME: 2:00 p.m.
STAFF: MAUREEN WILSON
LOCATION: LEMARS CITY HALL
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
40 CENTRAL AVENUE SE
LEMARS

If you have any questions, please call Senator Harkin’s Des Moines office at 515-284-4574. If you need an accommodation to participate please notify the office at least 48 hours in advance.

**Note from Jody: As a mother of a disabled child, I most certainly plan to attend the Onawa forum. I encourage everyone from this area (Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike) to participate. This is an important issue that WILL affect you, regardless of your age or party.

Jody

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