White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage has said that President Obama’s deficit proposal will not include any changes to Social Security, reiterating the President’s belief that Social Security did not cause the immediate deficit problem.
"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
On Thursday, 500 seniors met with their Members of Congress and Senators and voiced their concerns about Social Security, Medicare, and other issues close to their heart.
According to Politico, Republican members of the deficit-slashing Super Committee are meeting on Capitol Hill to hash out their own strategy ahead of the panel’s first official meetings after Labor Day, preparing for an intense fall push to cut $1.5 trillion from the deficit.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a group of New Hampshire seniors, including members of the Alliance, that he supports raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, as opposed to asking all taxpayers to pay a fair share to strengthen Social Security.
On Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race to win the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Five days later, his Thursday morning stop on the campaign trail was met with dozens of angry seniors and protesters from the New Hampshire Alliance.
On July 30, the Alliance celebrated the 46th Anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This Sunday, August 14, we will be celebrating the 76th Anniversary of Social Security, and Alliance members have been working to educate other members and the public on the importance of these programs.
Social Security and Medicare escaped a first round of budget cuts in the debt ceiling agreement reached earlier this week in Washington, but future threats loom on the horizon for these two programs. The agreement, which became law on Tuesday, extends government borrowing power into 2013, immediately cuts $400 billion in spending, and cuts $1 trillion in discretionary spending by 2021. Prior to the vote, Alliance members sent nearly 5000 e-mails to Washington, urging lawmakers to not cut Social Security or Medicare. Medicaid also escaped cuts.
Without signed legislation to raise the national debt limit by August 2, the Treasury will not have enough funds to pay the nation’s bills. Administration officials have warned of potentially calamitous effects on the economy if that happens - a spike in interest rates, a plunge in stock markets and a tightening in the job market.
President Obama had once set Friday, July 22, as the day when an agreement had to be reached so that corresponding legislation to raise the debt ceiling could be drafted and passed by the House and Senate. However, that timeline has now been extended. With several deals still possible, uncertainty for seniors remains.
With little more than two weeks to go before a possible government default, congressional leaders are sounding out their members this weekend over a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling while cutting the overall debt by some $2 trillion over ten years -- or look for an unorthodox legislative approach.