Retiree Leader Reacts to AARP Position on Social Security Cuts

June 17, 2011

Stresses Alliance Remains Opposed to Cuts, and Always Will Be

“My name is Ed Coyle, and I am the Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a 4 million-member advocacy organization for older Americans.

“The story in the Wall Street Journal today – which states that AARP supports cutting Social Security benefits - makes it apparent to me that AARP is not representing their members on this issue.

“I will leave it to AARP’s members to decide how they feel about this.

“AARP does not speak for all seniors.  And on this topic probably not for many of their own members.

“There is no ambiguity on where the Alliance for Retired Americans stands on Social Security - never has been, never will be.

“We are against Social Security benefit cuts for seniors.

“The current economic recession is all the proof we need that Social Security frequently is the only safety net that keeps millions of seniors in their homes with food on their tables.

“We have heard the argument that when the Baby Boomers retire, they will break the bank.  Of course their retirement will put a demand on the Trust Fund, but there are many alternatives to strengthen Social Security besides cutting benefits. Raising the payroll cap, for instance.

“The voices of doom are wrong.  The Social Security Trust Fund has a $2.6 trillion surplus, and it is projected to grow to $4.3 trillion by 2023. We do not need to cut benefits.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans will always stand up for seniors and the middle class. We are for strengthening Social Security for today’s seniors and for generations to come.

“Our members hope that AARP will directly answer some basic questions.

-    Do you support any cuts in benefits?
-    Do you support raising the retirement age?
-    Do you support means testing?

“These are questions that any seniors organization ought to be prepared to answer directly.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans has fought side-by-side with AARP on many issues in the past.

“But if the story in today’s Wall Street Journal is accurate, we will be parting company on this issue because we just can’t let seniors down.”

 

Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275 or dblank@retiredamericans.org

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