April 01, 2011

House GOP Leader: Social Security “Cannot Exist” for Future Generations

Discussing the future of Social Security, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told an NPR radio interviewer earlier this week, “We’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.”

Responding to Cantor’s comments on a telephone press conference call, Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle said, “Eric Cantor and others are saying that Social Security is to blame for our budget deficit.  That’s pure fiction, and a sleight of hand that makes no mention of tax cuts for the wealthy or big corporations like GE that pay no taxes. It’s time to stop the lies.  It’s time to start telling current and future retirees the truth.  Thank you, Eric Cantor. Thank you for making it crystal clear just what the Republican Party thinks of Social Security and the millions of Americans who count on it each month to make ends meet.”

Alliance Members Tell Senate: Hands Off Social Security

This week Alliance members from around the country participated in a “call-in” day organized by the Social Security Works campaign.  The effort produced over 6,000 calls into U.S. Senate offices, urging lawmakers to not cut Social Security benefits for current and future retirees as the chamber prepares to consider legislation on federal spending.

“This is yet another reminder of how dedicated Alliance activists in are in standing up for Social Security.  Our members don’t just care about themselves, they worry about their children and grandchildren,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling.

Senate Rally Unites Advocates for Social Security

On Monday, Alliance members joined activists from Americans United for Change, Social Security Works, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security on Capitol Hill at a rally to support Social Security. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) hosted the rally. Reid, who has been a longtime supporter of the Social Security, recognized and thanked the Alliance and re-affirmed his support for the program, saying, “What irritates me is we hear pundits and politicians take the bait that’s been thrown to them by these Republicans over those last few decades. You throw it to them and they grab it. They grab it and claim Social Security is headed for bankruptcy. It is not!”

Washington Alliance activist Steve Kofahl, a leader of American Federation of Government Employees members who work at the Social Security Administration, spoke of how draconian budget cuts in a bill recently passed by the U.S. House threaten the ability of agency employees to help current and future beneficiaries over the phone or in local offices.  Also speaking at the rally were Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), andRichard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Alliance Members Make Voices Heard in Local Media

While the big insurance companies and Wall Street firms have millions to spend on top-dollar lobbyists and slick TV ads, Alliance members have the chance to get their voices heard – for free – in their community by writing letters to the editor in their local newspapers.

To recognize those who take a moment to speak on behalf of their fellow retirees, the Alliance’s Retirees With the Write Stuff campaign sends out a U.S. union-made pen to our members who have letters published in the newspaper.  Recent winners include: Donald Singer, Bruce McCullough, James Reiland, M. Alma Cormican, Henry Ball, Nick Makrinos, Donald Carr, Joe Szenderski, Gary Adkins, Chuck Himmelspach Pataskala, Asiah Gayfield, Don Badie, Josh Roll.

The rules for Retirees With the Write Stuff couldn’t be more simple: write a letter, win a pen.  If your letter is published, please send us a copy, along with your mailing address, to ARAcommunications@retiredamericans.org

No Payday Worries for CEOs

According to The Wall Street Journal, bonuses for CEO’s at 50 major corporations increased by a median of 30.5% in the past year, the biggest gain in at least three years. The largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, doubled the total compensation of its CEO, Ian Read, despite the 19,000 employees the company is expected to layoff.

“While Americans of all ages continue to struggle to put food on the table and pay their bills, there has never been a better time – or country – to be the CEO of a big corporation,” said Ruben Burks, Alliance Secretary-Treasurer.  “This makes talk of cutting Social Security or Medicare all the more outrageous.”

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