Maryland/DC Alliance member David Waugh of Bethesda, Maryland had lunch with Vice President Joe Biden today. Waugh was selected to attend the lunch at an Arlington, Virginia diner, because he and his wife are part of the 98% of Americans whose taxes will go up if Congress doesn’t act to extend the middle class tax cuts. Waugh has stated that allowing middle tax class cuts to expire would mean increased difficulties in meeting monthly living expenses such as rent, utilities, car expenses, health care needs, and food.
"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
Top officials who have been involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks for many months say the parameters of a deal — including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will most likely contain — are starting to take shape. Earlier this week, White House spokesman Jay Carney had said that Social Security is one program that should be addressed on a “separate track,” telling reporters that the country should address the drivers of the deficit, and that Social Security currently is not driving the deficit.
With the election over, all eyes are focused on the lame-duck session of Congress and the battle to come to a budget agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic tax increases and massive budget cuts set to go into effect at the end of this year. President Barack Obama is entering negotiations with Congressional leaders and seeking $1.6 trillion in new revenues through taxes aimed at the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
President Barack Obama won re-election over Republican Mitt Romney, gaining at least 303 electoral votes Tuesday night - 33 more than the 270 needed for victory. The President also leads in Florida, but results in that state are not yet final. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats defied the odds to increase their thin majority. If newly-elected Independent Angus King of Maine decides to caucus with the Democrats, the Democratic Party will have picked up two seats, for a 55-45 majority.
Election Day - Tuesday, November 6 - is now just four days away. “I want to thank all of our activists who have been working tirelessly, planning ahead for months,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Now is not the time to let up. We must decide if we want to elect a President who represents all of us, or just a select few.”
Nearly 70,000 members of the Alliance for Retired Americans joined a call this week with Vice President Joe Biden to learn more about the Obama Administration’s commitment to keeping Medicare and Social Security strong for future generations. Members in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin took part in the call. Almost 1,000 of those swing state callers said they would like to volunteer between now and the election for the Obama campaign!
More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 2013, U.S. government officials announced on Tuesday. For the average retiree recipient, the monthly benefit will rise by $21, to $1,261. The level of taxable maximum earnings for Social Security will increase to $113,700 in 2013.
Vice President Joe Biden and Republican Paul Ryan got their turn in the spotlight Thursday night, debating the issues in a 90-minute session at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. They differed sharply over how best to ensure the solvency of Medicare and Social Security. Biden said the GOP Medicare plan, which would provide seniors a fixed amount of money to either buy into the government program or obtain private health insurance, amounted to a “voucher program” that he said would raise costs for future seniors.
The first of three presidential debates took place on Wednesday, with President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney both striving to gain favor with the middle class and seniors. Romney continued to hide the details about how he’d repeal Obamacare and still keep all of its benefits for seniors, such as more affordable prescription drugs and free preventive care.
A transcript of a speech made in 2005 by Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has received renewed attention this week, after the national Catholic weekly publication America published an article on his remarks. In his speech, Ryan took an extremist stance on Social Security and Medicare. He called Social Security and Medicare “collectivist” and “socialistic” and described his plans for privatization.