More than 100 Washington, D.C., interns and young professionals fought off the rain last week—with snow. Using an artificial snow machine, protestors joined together at Upper Senate Park to send the message to members of Congress that without personal retirement accounts, “Our future is melting.”
The “Storm the Capitol” rally, sponsored by Students for Saving Social Security (SSSS), a bipartisan organization less than a year old, featured snow cones, while pumping out tunes such as “Frosty the Snowman” and “Let it Snow.”
If senators missed the two dancing snowmen in costume or the massive ice sculpture of the words, “Social Security,” they certainly turned their heads when students “stormed” over to Senate offices to meet with members of the Senate Finance Committee. Some of the targeted politicians were Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (D.-Conn.) among others.
“Washington doesn’t get it,” said Ben Ferguson, communications director of SSSS. “Stop talking about us and start listening to us.”
With more than 160 chapters in colleges and universities, indeed the word is spreading.
“Every single one of the congressmen and senators talking about Social Security keeps saying, ‘Look, this is a problem for younger generations.’ We’re saying, ‘Look, it’s not a problem—just give us our money. That’s all we want.’”
Ferguson appeared on stage with President Bush in late June, speaking on behalf of personal accounts. Shortly after, he riled up a crowd of young people at a “Storm for Reform” rally at Taft Memorial Park. Jim Martin, president of 60 Plus Association, was a guest speaker among others.
Ferguson claims that the congressmen and senators are “fiscally irresponsible” and cannot provide sufficient social security due to the national debt.
“We’re just asking to be able to protect the money that we put into Social Security,” said co-speaker Ursula Williams. “We want assurance. We want to know that [the money] is going to be protected.”
Supporters attended a social gathering later that night and heard from Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.), a leading reformer for Social Security in the Senate. DeMint told the group he was pleased to see young people getting involved.
“If you don’t support personal accounts, then you don’t support young America,” Williams declared. “If you don’t support protecting our money, then you don’t support this generation.”