A new economic study reveals income inequality between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the population continues to increase. According to an analysis of IRS figures dating to 1913 by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University, the richest 1% earned 19.3% of all household income in 2012 and the richest 10% earned 48.2%.
"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
This Sunday, September 8th, is Grandparents Day. The holiday presents a unique opportunity for intergenerational conversations about retirement security. While Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are often considered seniors’ issues, they are important for all generations. Since many seniors live with other family members, any cuts to their benefits affect the entire household.
Edward F. Coyle, who has been the Executive Director of the Alliance since its launch in 2001, announced this week that he plans to retire soon. During his dozen-year stewardship of the Alliance, Mr. Coyle steadfastly supported seniors on Capitol Hill through numerous battles over Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; led the way for retirees to victories in key federal and state elections; and chartered 34 state Alliance affiliates with hundreds of local chapters.
August 28th, 2013 marks the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic march on Washington. In commemoration of the anniversary, Washington, DC will host a week of events dedicated to Rev. King’s vision of equality, freedom, and justice. Alliance members from around the country will be participating in the march, and many of them will be traveling great distances to do so. Tony Fransetta, President of the Florida Alliance, will travel 1,000 miles and 36 hours round-trip to attend.
Social Security’s birthday on Wednesday received considerable attention on the state and national level. The Alliance for Retired Americans marked the anniversary with over 40 events in 22 states and by releasing special state-by-state reports with ally Social Security Works.
On Wednesday, August 14th, Social Security will celebrate 78 years of providing retirement security to older Americans. In this time of financial uncertainty, when other sources of retirement income such as pensions and savings are increasingly out of reach for many Americans, Social Security is more important than ever. If you have not already signed the Alliance petition, which says to “Keep Social Security Strong – Let’s Not Be the Last Generation to Retire,” you can add your support at http://bit.ly/16ESw9e. The Alliance has also marked the birthday milestone by partnering with the group Social Security Works to release special state-by-state reports on what Social Security means for the people and economy in each state. To view the reports and see the data for your state, go to http://tinyurl.com/mjfvazl.
Celebrating Medicare and Medicaid’s 48th birthday, Alliance members across the country ate cake and blew out candles on Tuesday while talking about the importance of protecting and preserving the program for current and future seniors. Coverage from the Pennsylvania Medicare birthday party is at http://tinyurl.com/nfz59jf and http://tinyurl.com/pog7l47.
Retirees are facing frightening new threats this week in two major U.S. cities - Detroit and Cincinnati. The first involves the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, the largest filing by a local government in U.S. history. Because Michigan's constitution says that public pensions “shall not be diminished or impaired,” Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina had ruled last week that the bankruptcy filing violates the state constitution by jeopardizing the pensions of Detroit retirees.
Extreme summer heat causes thousands of heat-related illnesses in the U.S. each year, and kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes combined. With the dramatic heat wave currently gripping so much of the U.S., seniors have been especially vulnerable recently.
On July 2nd, the Alliance’s Human Chains events, designed to stop the chained CPI cut to Social Security benefits, took place in more than 50 cities and included more than 2,800 participants. Alliance members raised awareness of the chained CPI to many people who had never heard of it and led an effort to send over 108,000 emails to members of Congress.