Union retirees celebrate 80th anniversary of Social Security

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THE MISSOURI ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS celebrated the 80th anniversary of Social Security at the St. Louis Veterans Home, 10600 Lewis and Clark Blvd., Bellefontaine Neighbors. ARA volunteers included (from left) Patricia Laughlin, Ronald Gushleff Sr., Missouri ARA President Dave Meinell, Aubrey Warren, Phillip Graves and Mary Foster. Meinell is holding a poster made by Rose Burney, 14, whose grandfather David Burney Sr. is a Missouri ARA member. – Kevin Madden photo

Celebrations held at veterans homes in St. Louis, St. James

The Alliance for Retired Americans recently held more than 40 events across the country — including two in eastern Missouri — to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

The events were geared to educate the public on the importance of Social Security and to stress the need to protect and expand the program for seniors.

The Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), a statewide organization of union retirees, sponsored the two eastern Missouri events — one at the St. Louis Veterans Home, 10600 Lewis and Clark Blvd., Bellefontaine Neighbors, and the other at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James.

Each event included a bingo game, a big cake and prizes for the veterans.

“We wanted to thank the veterans for their service to our country on the 80th anniversary of Social Security,” said Missouri ARA President Dave Meinell.

“Social Security is of vital importance to them — as it is for all American seniors,” Meinell said. “We have to protect — and expand — Social Security benefits for generations to come.

“Social Security is financially sound — regardless what the Republican presidential candidates are saying,” he said. “It is funded through payroll taxes, and does not contribute one penny to the federal deficit.

“A fair way to pay for expanding benefits — the Social Security Expansion Act — has been introduced in Congress,” Meinell said.

“The plan would raise the cap on Social Security taxes from $118,500 to $250,000 a year and strengthen Social Security for the next 75 years — merely by having the richest 1.5 percent of Americans pay their fair share,” he said. “As a result, Social Security recipients would get an extra $65 a month in benefits.”

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