Transcript: Max Richtman’s remarks on the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare’s report on women & Social Security

Remarks by Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, at a press briefing to discuss proposals to bridge the gender gap in Social Security benefits for women (May 11, 2012):  

Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Protect Social Security & Medicare. SOURCE: C-Span.org

“My name is Max Richtman. I’m the President of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security. We are a member-supported advocacy education organization that for 30 years has been committed to protecting and promoting the health and income security of older Americans and their families.

“I want to welcome one of our board members, Bill Vaughan, who is here today. Thank you for coming.

“And I also, before we start, would like to thank Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) for helping us get this room for this briefing and more importantly the leadership that he’s shown for so many years and continues to show in protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We need Congressman Conyers here to do the things he’s done so well for years.

“I want to thank everyone for being here this morning. The National Committee has joined the National Organization for Women’s Foundation, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research to release a report that we believe is important not just to our various constituencies but to the entire country.


“Breaking the Social Security Glass Ceiling, our report, provides a desperately needed reality check to a Washington debate that increasingly and almost exclusively addresses Social Security in terms of how much money can be saved by cutting what are already very modest benefits rather than what those benefits cuts will actually mean to the average American.

“The truth is, as our country ages and retirement income continues to decline for millions of Americans, Congress should be talking about the adequacy of Social Security benefits, not talking about cutting them.

“Congress should examine the inequities that have created a poverty rate for senior women and widows that is 50% higher – that’s really an astounding number – 50% higher than other retirees 65 and older.

“We can break the Social Security glass ceiling and we really have to if we’re going to preserve the economic security of generations of American women and their families.

“Let me also – I saw Scott Frey here. He’s here. He’s the [Social Security Administration’s] Deputy Commissioner for Legislation and of course, thank you so much Carolyn Colvin for coming. Carolyn [Colvin] is the Deputy Social Security Commissioner. I appreciate you being here.

“We are very honored to open this briefing and hear Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She joins us this morning. The Congresswoman understands the challenges facing our nation’s retirees, especially women retirees and elder women of color. She has been, as we all know that have followed her career, a tireless champion of equality and equity and a national leader for civil and women’s rights.

“The issues addressed in our report that we’re releasing this morning speak to exactly the kind of fairness and parity that she’s championed throughout her distinguished career. We’re very honored to have you here Congresswoman.”

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