"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, former 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
2010 Alliance Voting Record, Compiling Key Congressional Votes, is Now Available
June 03, 2011
On Tuesday, the Alliance released its 2010 Congressional Voting Record, detailing the votes of every U.S. Senator and Representative on key issues affecting current and future retirees. The document is available at http://bit.ly/kpet7N. “At a time when Congress has been debating the future of Social Security and Medicare, it is more important than ever that people of all ages know the issues and how their elected officials voted,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling. The voting record examines ten key Senate votes and ten key House votes from 2010, giving the roll calls on issues such as strengthening Medicare, help for Social Security recipients, and protecting older Americans from consumer and lending fraud. According to the Voting Record, 183 U.S. House Members achieved perfect scores of 100% in 2010, while 83 members of the House received scores of zero. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the architect of the GOP’s plan to privatize Medicare and cut Social Security, was one of the House members receiving a grade of zero. Twenty-two members of the U.S. Senate received perfect scores of 100%, while 16 Senators received scores of zero.
Alliance Teams with Social Security Works to Release State Social Security Polls
In a new poll released on Wednesday, 76% of likely voters in Florida’s 2012 election said that they oppose cutting Social Security benefits in order to reduce the federal deficit. Those opposed include 90% of Democrats, 66% of Republicans, 71% of Independents, and 56 % of Tea Party supporters. The poll was paid for by Social Security Works, a national organization that convenes the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, which is comprised of more than 300 national and state organizations from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations. It was released as leaders in Washington debate how to reduce the federal deficit, and many members of Congress call for including deep cuts to Social Security. The poll found that Social Security could be a real wedge issue in the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Florida. Nearly seven in ten (69%) of Florida voters say they would be less likely to vote for a Senate candidate who supports cutting benefits to reduce the deficit. Social Security could also influence swing voters: by a margin of 57% to 9% of independents and a margin of 65% to 5% of those who are undecided in the generic 2012 Florida Senate ballot, voters indicated they would be much less likely to vote for a candidate who supports cutting Social Security benefits to reduce the deficit.
Ms. Easterling participated in a similar event releasing a poll in Virginia on Tuesday. That poll showed that 75% of likely voters in Virginia’s 2012 election oppose cutting Social Security benefits in order to reduce the federal deficit. A poll being released today reveals that 78% of likely voters in Missouri’s 2012 election oppose cutting Social Security benefits in order to reduce the federal deficit. For more on these and other polls, go to http://bit.ly/l0RH5V.
Playing Politics with the Debt Ceiling
On Tuesday, Congress voted down a “clean” debt ceiling increase, in favor of tying the measure to politically motivated goals such as cutting Social Security and Medicare. The defeated bill had no strings attached, and merely raised the debt ceiling from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion. Republicans wish to only raise the debt ceiling if they can attach provisions from the unpopular Ryan Budget. However, by voting down this bill, Republicans have rendered the prospect of government default a very real possibility. If the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2nd, the U.S. will not be able to meet its financial obligations, a situation that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has described as “Catastrophic”. “As this debate heats up, we will have to focus more than ever on protecting Social Security and Medicare from cuts,” said Ruben Burks, Alliance Secretary-Treasurer.
Voter ID Laws Target Those More Likely to Vote Democratic
Since the 2010 midterm elections, Republican state legislators and governors have been working tirelessly to enact tougher voter identification laws. While many politicians veil the push for the laws as a way to cut down on fraud, evidence of such widespread voter fraud has yet to materialize. In reality, the push for voter ID requirements disenfranchises young people, seniors, and minorities, all of whom lack state issued photo ID’s at a greater rate than the rest of the general population. Minorities and young people are overwhelmingly Democratic voters, while seniors are overwhelmingly swing voters. In Wisconsin, for example, 23% of seniors; 59% of Latina women; and 78% of African-American men 18 to 24-years-old lack a state-issued photo ID. Currently, 12 states require a photo ID to vote. Some states are also shortening early voting periods and restricting the ability of third parties - such as the League of Women Voters - to hold voter registration drives.
New Alliance State Presidents for North Carolina, New York
Jim Moore was elected State President at the North Carolina Alliance's convention in Raleigh on Wednesday. North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina AFL-CIO MaryBe McMillan delivered remarks. Attendees thanked John Newman for his seven years as president, and Richard Fiesta, Director of the Department of Government and Political Affairs for the Alliance, spoke about current Social Security and Medicare developments. In New York, Dennis Tracey takes over as state president, following Jim Wood’s four years of dedicated service.
Nevada Alliance Commemorates Memorial Day
On Sunday, the Nevada Alliance (NARA) sponsored a Memorial Day BBQ to honor veterans and to defend the Social Security benefits upon which so many depend when they return to civilian life. Teachers, local labor leaders and other supporters joined in the celebration, featuring Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV), purple heart recipient and veteran Rodney Smith and AFT member and veteran Dick Collins. Scott Watts, President of NARA, presided over the tribute. Richard Fiesta also lent support. To see photos, go to http://bit.ly/lCOdYA.
Presidents of NAACP, NEA to Speak at Alliance Convention in September
Help us mark our 10-year Anniversary at our upcoming Legislative Conference, Celebrating Our Past, Fighting for Your Future, on September 6 - 9, 2011 in Washington, D.C.! Information and registration forms were mailed last month. You may also register online at http://bit.ly/hQro1V. Benjamin Jealous, President of the NAACP, and Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association, are scheduled to speak. Any questions, please contact Event Coordinator Joni Jones at 202-637-5377 or firstname.lastname@example.org.