Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Christine Pelosi Headshot

To Preserve Social Security, Protect Voting Rights

Posted: Updated:

It's no coincidence that the same folks out to restrict voting rights are busy trying to privatize Social Security. The Koch and corporate funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been promoting politicians who practice voter suppression and Safety Net shredding for years now.

Just this summer, Social Security Privatizer-in-chief Paul Ryan -- whose budget decimates Social Security as we know it -- was the headliner at a Koch Brothers retreat speaking to the same donors who have been funding draconian voter suppression laws across America for years.

Credit the privatizers for persistence in the face of opposition.

Despite the fact that Paul Ryan's budget, on which Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan campaigned in 2012, losing the argument and the vote to President Obama and Vice President Biden, was rejected by the voters, he served it up anew this spring in a budget for which all but 10 House Republicans voted.

Despite the lack of a Republican Senate or White House, Social Security privatizers enter debt ceiling negotiations using Safety Net programs as sacrificial lambs.

Despite the fact that a majority of the American voting public opposes the privatizers, they are undeterred. To stop public opposition they've decided to stop public participation. Rather than try to change our minds, the privatizers simply opt to suppress our votes. Fewer voters -- especially among seniors, millennials, and in communities of color where support for Social Security is strongest.

Follow the money: privatizing Social Security gives money to Wall Street, shrinks the government, and aids and abets corporate libertarianism. Passing voter suppression laws in states like North Carolina, which has a huge Senate fight next year for Senator Kay Hagan's re-election, is another march on the Paul Ryan "roadmap" -- another march on the road to ruin for Social Security and other vital inter-generational compacts.

So as we celebrate Social Security's birthday today, remember that we must also protect our cherished yet embattled voting rights that preserve our voices in the fight to protect the American Safety Net. Join efforts to help Social Security enable our disabled to live with dignity and our seniors to retire with security, and to preserve voting rights to maintain our voices at the ballot box and in the legislative chamber where