Protests Over Proposed Cuts To Social Security

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

Longer waiting time for social security checks -- the idea worries some people who receive those benefits and it could be on the way thanks for a budget fight in the U.S. House of Representatives. There were protests from coast to coast on Wednesday who say the proposed cuts could be devastating.

It was only a few who gathered outside the social security office in South Lansing but their signs resisting furloughs said it all.

"I'm all for a solution but not one that will cause hardships for employees," said social security administration employee Youlanda Clementin.

The group was protesting in opposition of a plan in Congress right now that would cut $1.7 billion from the administration's $11.4 billion budget. This would mean layoffs or furloughs raning from 10 to 23 days.

"If employees are off without pay they will suffer but it's also the service to the public," said James Campana, an employee and steward for the American Federation of Government Employees.

"If my check didn't get here on time, I'm sorry, I live off that check. Where am I gonna go? I can't work," said Gearldine Yeager who drove down from Dansville just for the protest.

The proposed cuts would not affect the social security benefits, there is money in the reserves for that, but it would affect the workers at the local offices who help hundreds file for those benefits.

"It's going to increase waiting time -- reduce our ability to take care of the public. As Social Security workers we want to serve the public and do the jobs we were hired to do," said Campana.

"We need places to go to talk to people when we need help. We can't talk to an electronic voice -- there's no help there," said Janice Thornsbury who is on disability and relies on her monthly check.

The $1.7 billion is just the tip of the cuts. The Republican-controlled House wants to eliminate $61 billion in spending which would affect hundreds of federal agencies.

"My thought is we didn't cause this so why take it out on us?" asked Clementin.

U.S. Representative Mike Rogers, from Howell, e-mailed News Ten a statement saying the one percent cut that could affect social security "would only impact the administrative budget with no impact on benefits. During this time of a record $1.6 trillion budget deficit, every program can find inefficiencies and waste without impacting services."


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