"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
Alan Simpson Unleashes Outrageous Attack on California Alliance Seniors
May 25, 2012
When former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, ran into California Alliance (CARA) seniors in March, they let him know that they do not support his ideas for addressing the national debt. The activists picketed his appearance in Oakland, where he was trying to grow support for his recommendations. They also passed out a flyer that drew attention to how Simpson’s policies would affect those who are now young. In particular, they called him out on his plan to cut guaranteed Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age and lowering cost-of-living adjustments.
Simpson later went home to Wyoming and wrote a letter responding to the protesters, and he mailed it to CARA last week. By this Wednesday, that letter had gained national attention in publications including Politico (http://politi.co/Jd39BJ), The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. For a link to the Simpson letter, go to http://bit.ly/KyMQ1o.
In the shocking correspondence, Simpson exploded with accusations, saying to CARA:
- “You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel,”
- “What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the ‘greedy geezers’ like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap,”
- “You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bull****.”
Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, said in response, “Sen. Simpson’s letter was not just inappropriate and unbecoming a co-chairman of a White House Commission, but also wrong on the facts. The cuts that he has recommended are an attack on all Americans who want a secure retirement. His ideas would indeed sentence our children to an impoverished old age.”
CARA President Nan Brasmer told Politico, “Alan Simpson’s mean-spirited comments insult the intelligence and dedication of retiree activists who worry about their children and grandchildren’s future. Sen. Simpson sounds an awful lot like Mitt Romney and others who will use the recent Social Security Trustees report as political cover for their radical changes. They would put seniors at risk while enriching Wall Street and the big health insurance companies. For instance, increasing the retirement age - one of their suggestions - would be extremely unfair to workers, particularly those in blue-collar and service sector jobs. And privatizing Social Security would let Wall Street firms profit while gambling workers’ Social Security savings on the roulette wheel of the stock market.”
Alliance Celebrates Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month, and Alliance members have been using the time to send “Virtual Post Cards” to their Member of Congress. “The electronic messages thank those who have stood up against the Paul Ryan Republican budget, which would give seniors grossly inadequate vouchers to buy health coverage in the costly, unfair private insurance market, or have them purchase coverage from a Medicare program that would be badly weakened by the exodus of younger, healthier retirees,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “The post cards also cite those who support the Ryan budget,” she continued. Activists are then using social media to spread their message and letting local media outlets know they have sent their virtual post cards and why.
Generic, Re-importation Prescription Drug Amendments Voted Down in the Senate
The Senate defeated an amendment on Thursday that would discourage generic and brand-name drug companies from entering into agreements that stall access to generic drugs. Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) amendment was meant to speed up the introduction of cheaper drugs to the market by deterring generic-drug companies that filed a patent on a specific drug from being the only company allowed to sell the drug for the first 180 days. The Senate defeated the amendment to a sweeping FDA drug review bill, 28-67. For a tally of the vote, go to http://1.usa.gov/KZAFNd.
A measure by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would have allowed the importation of cheaper medicines from Canada, likely saving the U.S. billions of dollars on health care spending. It failed 43-54, with bipartisan support and opposition, as an amendment to the FDA drug review bill. For a tally of that vote, go to http://1.usa.gov/JAquU5.
“If we want to control health care spending, we need to pass amendments like the one sponsored by Senator John McCain - as well as Senator Bingaman’s - that address prescription drug costs,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
Obama Ad Seeks to Gain the Support of Seniors
An ad by the Obama Re-election Campaign focuses on Medicare fraud and mentions the President's grandparents. Click on http://bit.ly/JGt1LB to view it!
Alliance Speaker Tara Maxwell Speaks at “Caring Across Generations” Town Hall
On Monday, Tara Maxwell, the Service Coordinator at Council House - a resident facility in Suitland, Maryland - represented the Alliance on Capitol Hill at the Caring Across Generations legislative town hall. For pictures from the intergenerational event, go to http://bit.ly/JhyjaV.
National Leaders Hit the Midwest
On Wednesday, Mr. Coyle was in St. Louis, Missouri to address the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Also speaking were Earline Jones, President of the Missouri Alliance’s Educational Fund, and Missouri Alliance Organizer Judith Parker, who gave a presentation on stopping voter suppression. The same day, Ms. Easterling was in Indianapolis for the Indianapolis Alliance’s state convention.
Download a printable version