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Congressman Gene Green

Representing the 29th District of Texas

Green Sees Privatization Of Social Security A No Win For Latino's

July 21, 2005
Press Release
Washington, DC - Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) today issued the following statement regarding the effects of Social Security Privatization on the Latino community:
As has been widely discussed, Social Security disproportionately benefits the Latino community, said Congressman Green.  The progressive structure of Social Security and social insurance aspect of the program keeps a higher percentage of Latinos out of poverty than any other demographic.  Because Latinos tend to earn less over their lifetimes, have larger families, are more prone to disability, and live longer, Social Security becomes critical to the livelihood of Latino families throughout America.
Unfortunately, the Administrations plans to privatize social security would destroy the progressive structure of the program, put the entire program in jeopardy of collapsing, and throw many Latino families below the poverty line.  Democrats will fight to protect Latino families, and will put forth policies that will help more Latinos rise out of poverty, rather than spend our time putting more Latinos into poverty.
Currently, Social Security keeps Latino seniors poverty rates down by two-thirds.  If the Administration is successful in its attempt to destroy Social Security, it will take us back to the day when half of Latino seniors lived under the poverty line, continued Congressman Green.
Under Social Security privatization, 51.6% of Mexican seniors would fall into poverty, up from 20.1% now, and 53.7% of Cuban-American seniors would face a similar fate in the Latino community.  The number of people kept out of poverty by social security is astounding, and with the reduction in benefits or outright destruction of the program, poverty would be especially widespread throughout the Latino community. 
Further, because Latinos earn less, on average, than other populations - $21,600 versus $27,500 for the general population Latinos benefit from the progressive structure of Social Security, concluded Congressman Green.  For example, Social Security replaces approximately 56% of a low-wage workers earnings compared to 35% for high-wage workers.  Private accounts would eliminate this advantage, as well as the existing disability and spousal benefits offered through the Social Security system.