"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
Alliance Members Protest Across the Country as Fiscal Commission Meets in DC
April 30, 2010
Alliance Members Protest Across the Country as Fiscal Commission Meets in DC
On Tuesday in Washington, DC, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform met for the first time. Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, and retired Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), co-chair the Commission. Click on http://bit.ly/bsw4qW for a list of the 18 members who make up the panel. The Commission could determine the future of Social Security; however, after Tuesday's opening session, it plans to hold most of its meetings outside of the public eye, behind closed doors. Activists have been contacting their elected officials, saying that the Commission's deliberations - and the future of Social Security - are too important to be kept secret. Alliance members sent more than 3,600 letters to their elected officials driving their point home this week. "We must bring this new Commission's meetings out into the sunshine, so everyone can see firsthand just how important Social Security is to Americans of all ages," said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.
Alliance chapters across the country acted to draw attention to the closed meetings as well as the threat of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. In California, letters were delivered in person to Congressional offices all over the state. New Hampshire Alliance members protested in front of the office of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) [ http://bit.ly/aVPSqa ]. Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, and South Carolina Alliance members hand-delivered letters to the offices of several elected officials, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and John Spratt (D-SC). The Iowa Alliance published letters to Illinois editors, and the New Mexico Alliance was invited to voice their opinions on television. Other states also contributed energetically to the effort. "Thank you all for your creativity and work," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
Former Sen. Simpson aggravated seniors last weekend on Fox News Sunday, when he complained about older Americans who are concerned with the possibility of cuts to their Social Security benefits. "Where do I get my mail?" he asked. "From these old cats 70 and 80 years old who are not affected in one whiff. People who live in gated communities and drive their Lexus to the Perkins restaurant to get the AARP discount. This is madness."
'Billionaires for Social Insecurity' Gather at Pete Peterson Event
On Wednesday, Peter Peterson and his foundation convened a closed-door meeting of Wall Street billionaires and politicos at the Ronald Reagan Building in DC. Peterson is a former CEO of Lehman Brothers and former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He and his allies propose reducing the country's deficit by slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as raising the retirement age. They have supported the concept of a commission that could fast-track changes to these programs with little Congressional and public debate. The Peterson meeting, which followed the first Fiscal Commission meeting on Tuesday, included many players on the commission, including Rep. Ryan and Sen. Gregg. A street theatre troupe and activists joined forces at the Ronald Reagan Building to point out the irony and danger of what was being discussed. [Video and more here: http://bit.ly/9C2ZT0] Players dressed as billionaires asked passers-by to donate their Social Security checks and said, "Just because we busted the budget does not mean we should pay for it."
Alliance Helps to Reform Wall Street
On Wednesday, Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Capitol Hill at a press conference in support of financial reform. Speaking in favor of S. 3217, the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010," Ms. Easterling said the legislation would "put in place strict new rules to protect seniors from gimmicks and predatory lending." The Senate opened debate on Thursday on the bill to overhaul the nation's financial regulatory system after Republicans agreed to drop a three-day filibuster. Earlier in the week, Nevada Alliance President Scotty Watts had joined Sen. Reid on a conference call with reporters as part of the effort.
Pennsylvania Seniors for Mark Critz
Mark Critz, a candidate for the U.S. House in Pennsylvania