Ending the Student Debt Crisis and Expanding Social Security: We Will Win Together

Nancy Altman, Founding Co-director, Social Security Works

Natalia Abrams, Co-founder, Student Debt Crisis

Only in the insular world of Washington can people seriously assert that old people and young people are adversaries, rather than natural and strong allies. Nowhere is this strong alliance clearer than with regard to Social Security and the student debt crisis.

Both issues affect all ages. Social Security is the nation’s largest children’s program. It insures virtually all of America’s children against the loss of a parent’s income, in the event of death, disability, or old age. Currently nearly 12 percent of the nation’s children receive Social Security benefits directly, as beneficiaries themselves, or indirectly, as members of households where part of the income comes from Social Security. Not surprisingly, Social Security is the largest source of income in families where grandparents are rearing grandchildren. Over 1 million children are lifted out of poverty each year, thanks to Social Security, while the depths of poverty are lessened for millions more.

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