Democratic candidate for Congress Woolf visiting hometown of opponent Stefanik today
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:56 am

Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District Aaron Woolf today is in Willsboro, the town in which his Republican opponent Elise Stefanik is based, with local workers and seniors about preserving Medicare.

He was to have been joined by current Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who is not running again.

"Stefanik has played a key role in attacking the future of Medicare. First, she was Policy Director of the 2012 Republican National Convention Platform Committee that called for the privatization of Medicare by turning it into a voucher program," Woolf said. "She then directed Paul Ryan in how to defend his budget plans that also called for ending the Medicare guarantee. And now she refuses to say that she wouldn’t touch Medicare and its benefits for seniors."

Woolf recently spoke out in favor of keeping the Social Security program under the auspices of the federal government.

He said he would work to protect Social Security and its benefits, if elected in November.

“Upstate New York and North Country citizens spent a lifetime paying into Social Security and deserve the benefits they’ve earned for a lifetime of hard work,” Woolf said. “That is why in Congress, I would fight any efforts to privatize the program or change the retirement age. We have a retirement crisis in this country because families can no longer save as much as they used to or count on defined pension plans. That makes defending Social Security more important now than ever—both for today’s seniors and those of tomorrow.”

In the 21st District, there are 161,101 Social Security beneficiaries. Of those beneficiaries, 107,279 are seniors. In total, NY-21 constituents receive benefits totaling $189 million per month. These benefits, however, are under attack by Republicans in Washington, D.C. who have proposed privatizing Social Security, Woolf said.

"Putting Social Security into the hands of Wall Street speculators would be devastating to New York seniors who now depend on the program just to make ends meet. The cost of living has drastically gone up over the decades. But wages have stagnated, and Americans have no choice but to save less," Woolf said. "Employees have also been hurt by companies foregoing pension plans and instead offering less reliable 401Ks. As a result, nearly half of our country’s households have less than three month savings to prepare for emergencies or future needs."