Wisconsin, Edwin Witte and Social Security: A History Lesson for Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan Republicans On 75th Anniversary (8/13/10)

Aug 12, 2010

MADISON – Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate on the 75th Anniversary of the Social Security Act and the “Father of Social Security,” Wisconsin’s Edwin Witte:

“Seventy-five years ago today, a Wisconsin farm boy named Edwin Witte helped enact a program made necessary by the excesses of Wall Street. At the time, poverty ran rampant amid the elderly as a direct consequence of the greedy speculation of forces far removed from the Dairy State. As an advisor to President Roosevelt, Witte took with him the example of hard work and humility learned here in Wisconsin and sought to fight back the forces conspiring against our nation’s working families.

Now 75 years later, Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson, who grew up privileged in Wisconsin and Minnesota respectively, have drawn some very different conclusions about the safety net woven for our seniors. In an irony that would not have escaped Witte, Ryan and Johnson, as they seek glory for themselves, now want to hand over Social Security to the very Wall Street forces that threw us into the Great Depression and that caused the economic crisis we face today. Other Wisconsin Republicans, like Scott Walker and Congressional candidate Sean Duffy, have endorsed the Ryan plan, equally blind to the irony.

As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act, brought into being by our own Ed Witte, we promise we will not bend to Wall Street as Ron Johnson, and Paul Ryan would have us. We will protect our seniors.”