|Higgins Hosts 1,000th House Democrat Social Security Town Hall Meeting in Jamestown|
|August 4, 2005|
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) was joined by County Executive Mark Thomas and American Association of Retired Persons Senior Legislative Representative Dr. Ridge Multop for the 1,000th House Democrat Town Hall Meeting held this year on the future of Social Security. Chautauqua County residents turned out at the Jackson Center Auditorium in Jamestown, New York to engage in a dialogue on the subject of Social Security.
“I have heard from a number of residents in the 27th Congressional district on this issue,” said Congressman Higgins “and the hard-working people of Chautauqua County have very real concerns about how they will be impacted by proposed changes to the system.” In addition, Congressman Higgins noted that “the proposed privatization of Social Security would have its greatest negative effect on middle-class workers who would see dire cuts in their benefits.”
"I would like to thank Congressman Higgins for holding this important forum on Social Security in Chautauqua County,” said County Executive Mark Thomas. “Clearly, Social Security is one of the most pressing issues facing Americans of all ages and the Congressman's continued commitment to keeping this program vital is in the best interest of all the residents of the 27th Congressional District."
In conjunction with the Town Hall meeting, Congressman Higgins released a report on Social Security in New York’s 27th District.
Congressman Higgins noted that New York’s 27th District has the largest number of Social Security recipients of any district in New York State. In total 134,966 residents in Congressman Higgins’ district receive Social Security checks; of which 84,000 are retirees, over 17,000 are disabled workers, over 15,000 are widowed and over 10,000 are children. The President’s plan would cut benefits by over $12 billion for current wage earners in New York’s 27th district; more than 76% of this cut comes from middle-class workers earning $30,000 to $90,000 annually. Over 65%, or 180,000, wage earners in this district would have their benefits cut. More than 32,000 of those current workers would see cuts over 20%. Wage earners between 35 and 55 years old would have an average annual cut in benefits of $1,680 per year; workers younger than 35 would have their benefits cut by approximately $3,180.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer added their comments on Congressman Brian Higgins’ efforts to hold House Democrats’ 1,000th Social Security event in Jamestown, N.Y.
“Social Security has meant dignity and independence for millions of Americans who have relied on its guaranteed benefit during retirement, disability, or the death of a loved one,” Pelosi said. “For 70 years, Social Security has never failed to pay promised benefits, and Democrats will fight to make sure that Republicans do not turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble.”
Hoyer said: “House Democrats’ energy on Social Security is a testament to our strong belief that the American people do not want privatization and that privatization would not be good for the American people. Democrats are going to continue to talk about our readiness to craft a bipartisan solution for Social Security's long-term solvency challenge, as well as our solid opposition to private accounts.”