Sen. Elizabeth Warren received a rousing, enthusiastic welcome from attendees at the regional meeting of the White House Conference on Aging on Thursday at the Edward M. Kennedy Center in Boston and she proceeded to defend Social Security while noting that the recession had inflicted heavy financial pain for seniors. “This is not the moment to take about cutting Social Security. It is a moment to strengthen and expand Social Security,” she said. “Cutting Social Security is wrong economically and wrong morally,” she added.
Senator Warren noted that Social Security is the primary source of income for two thirds of retirees and that for fifteen million it is “all that stands between them and poverty.” She noted that the Great Recession that began in 2008 created a perfect storm for seniors who lost net worth and were left deeper in debt. She said one third of older Americans have no savings. With fewer and fewer businesses offering pensions, she said that Social Security is more important not just for seniors but we must “honor our promise to young people” that it will be there.
Panel discussions followed on retirement security, elder justice, healthy aging and long term care supports. Those four topics were determined to be the focus of the White House Conference this year.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews told the regional meeting that the national White House Conference on Aging will be held on Monday, July 13 and that President Obama will address the meeting.