Welcome to Veterans and Military Families for Elizabeth Warren! Elizabeth has a first-hand idea of how much service members and their families contribute to our country. All three of her brothers served in the military and her oldest brother was career military, with 288 combat missions in Vietnam.
Over the next four months, we will be growing this community to talk to our friends, family members and neighbors about why we need Elizabeth Warren in the U.S. Senate. Start organizing today - sign up using the form to the right.
Service members: Please do not sign up with a .mil or .gov email address, if possible. Please use another email address (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.) instead.
Three weeks ago, the Social Security Administration made a quiet announcement.
Next year, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won’t be getting an annual cost of living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose veterans’ benefits, disability benefits, and other monthly payments are pegged to Social Security.
Two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security to pay for the basics, to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads – but seniors who usually get a small boost on January 1st won’t see an extra dime next year. That’s why today, I’m introducing the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act – a one-time payment equivalent to a Social Security benefits increase of 3.9%.
Why give seniors and veterans a 3.9% Social Security boost? Well, times are tough for America’s seniors – but they aren't tough for everyone. According to recent data, CEOs at the top 350 American companies received, on average, a 3.9% pay increase last year.
But here’s the kicker: taxpayers like you subsidize huge pay packages for CEOs through billions of dollars in giveaways, including a crazy loophole that allows corporations to write off obscene executive bonuses as a business expense for “performance pay.”
Our new SAVE Benefits Act would give seniors and veterans a benefits boost without adding a single penny to the deficit simply by closing that performance pay loophole. In fact, closing that tax loophole would create enough revenue to give seniors and vets this 3.9% emergency boost and still have money left over for the Social Security Trust Fund to help extend the life of Social Security.
Think about what this change would mean. A one-time 3.9% Social Security payment is worth about $581 a person next year – a little less than $50 a month. For someone barely scraping by on a $1,250 Social Security check each month, $581 would cover almost three months of groceries, or a year’s worth of out-of-pocket costs for a Medicare beneficiary’s prescription drugs. According to an analysis, that little boost could lift more than 1 million Americans out of poverty. That’s a big deal.
This is about choices. We have the money to do this – only right now that money goes to fund a loophole that benefits corporate CEOs. We could use exactly that same money to help out seniors and vets – and make the Social Security system more stable. For me, it’s pretty straightforward: Our spending should reflect our values.
Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a true American hero, spent the day campaigning for Elizabeth on Saturday with veterans from across Massachusetts.
After greeting voters in Melrose and Waltham, Senator Cleland joined Elizabeth in Beverly for a rally. The First Baptist Church was filled to the rafters with more than 800 people today to hear Senator Max Cleland address veterans and others about his support for Elizabeth Warren.
Several veterans for Warren took to the stage behind Cleland, led by Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, who served in Iraq.
“Sharing the stage with all these veterans who served our country and Max Cleland, a true American hero, gives me goose bumps,” said Elizabeth, whose three brothers served in the military. “I learned what it means to have someone away and in harm’s way. We are grateful as a country to every one of them.”
Cleland was severely injured in Vietnam but continued to serve his country by representing Georgia in the U.S. Senate.
“This is a very special woman,” Cleland said about Elizabeth after discussing her brothers’ service. “I know that for sure cause I looked in her ‘binder.’” Cleland emphasized that military families serve right along with loved ones on active duty. He added that Elizabeth prioritized military families at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and hired Holly Petraeus, wife of General David Petreaus, to set up the new Office for Servicemember Affairs.
Elizabeth expressed her gratitude to all the veterans in the audience. “We have a sacred commitment to our vets and honoring the promises we made to them,” she said. She promised to fight for veterans in the Senate and fight for opportunities like the GI Bill to be there for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Elizabeth and Max Cleland then went to Hopkinton for a rally at the Laborer’s Training Center, where they were joined by Joe Kennedy.
Last Fall, Somerville resident Dan Futrell, a decorated Iraq veteran with five years of active duty in the Army and two Bronze Stars, got involved in his first political campaign to support Elizabeth Warren.
Futrell, who was drawn to Elizabeth's message that "No one succeeds on their own," says, "I believe we are responsible to ourselves and to each other. In the military, you are a member of a team. You will succeed or fail together. If you see your battle buddy fall down, you stop and help him up. And I see that as a bigger responsibility - we must apply that military concept to the broader issues of society."
"I don't think Scott Brown is a bad person," Futrell says. "He's just not pointing us in the right direction as a nation. Elizabeth understands the responsibility we have toward one another, and she understands that this responsibility is not optional. For instance, she's done a lot to help veterans. At the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she hired Holly Petraeus to look out for issues that specifically affect veterans."
With Vietnam veteran Bill Dooling, Futrell put together Vets and Military Families for Warren. "We support her because we know she's on our team," Futrell says. Together they are growing the veteran outreach and organizing military families across the state.