Americans United to Protect Social Security, a labor front group for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, circulated a memo last week to supporters and sympathetic Hill staffers. It read, “We must declare victory in this fight” and find ways to show the public they have defeated President Bush on social security reform.
The memo continued the group must, “articulate to the public how in seven short months we came together and defeated President Bush’s signature domestic initiative of his second term — the privatization and dismantling of Social Security. This is vitally important because it will help us capture this successful campaign model for future fights and because influencing the written history of this battle will help drive a stake in the heart of privatization for the long term."
To show the public social security reform is not dead, grassroots groups FreedomWorks and Students for Saving Social Security, hosted a press conference today with Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.). DeMint said, “Congress is very good at overreacting to crisis, once they occur. But we’re very poor at addressing problems in advance so we can avoid crisis,” citing prior knowledge of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina to demonstrate why social security reform is an immediate issue.
FreedomWorks has brought state-based social security reform activists from across the country to Washington to speak with Congress. Bruce Broussard, chair of his county Republican Party and his wife, Norma, came to D.C. this week with the group. Broussard, who formerly ran for Senate, said the lawmakers he spoke with seemed positive. “They all were interested in what we had to say. They agreed Katrina was a priority, but they were immediately supportive of our cause.”
Activists from all over the Pacific Northwest were at the press conference holding signs and wearing white t-shirts that said “don’t get” above the graphic of a large screw.
Broussard said he came to Washington to become more familiar with the issues. “Sometimes we just don’t educate enough and with all the information I’ve gotten here I can go back to my constituency and talk to them.”