"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
Retirees and Workers Tell Congress: "Don't Make Us Work 'Til We Die!"
April 21, 2011
For Immediate Release
April 21, 2011
Events Highlight Opposition to Republican Budget Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid
Seniors, workers and residents from around the nation are holding events next week, many in their old work uniforms, to protest budget cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all of which have been recently voted on in Congress. The events are part of a national week of action called “Don’t Make Us Work ’Til We Die,” which are taking place in states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin during the week of April 25. Nationally, these events are sponsored by the Alliance for Retired Americans and the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of more than 300 other national and state organizations.
Event participants are protesting an April 15th vote in favor of the House Republican budget, which would turn Medicare over to insurance companies and slash Medicaid spending by $1.4 trillion. Event participants are also telling their Representative that they oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age.
For a detailed list of the events taking place in the coming week, as well as a video that demonstrates what’s at stake for retirees and workers who attend them, please go to http://www.retiredamericans.org/issues/Working_Til_We_Die.
The events are taking place as the budget debate is heating up in Washington, and as many in Congress propose big benefit cuts to Social Security, including increasing the retirement age to 69 or even 70.
“Social Security belongs to the people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to the program. It does not belong to politicians in Washington who want to use it as a piggy bank to fund tax cuts for the rich or bailouts for Wall Street,” said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “Social Security is based on a promise.”
“Social Security did not cause the federal deficit. It has not contributed one penny to the deficit,” continued Mr. Coyle. “It has a $2.6 trillion surplus today that workers and employers paid for. Social Security benefits should not be cut to reduce the deficit.”
“These events send a clear message that if Congress raises the retirement age or cuts Social Security benefits seniors will be forced to work harder and longer,” added Coyle. “Politicians in Washington may be able to work until they are 70 or older because they don’t have physically demanding jobs that leave your body broken. But that’s not the case for many of us.”
“House Republicans have a plan that will decimate Medicare and Medicaid – two programs that are vital to the security of retirees,” concluded Coyle. They want to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67. How do they expect people to get health care when they don’t have jobs to get insurance coverage and can’t afford coverage on their own?”