Alliance for Retired Americans sends joint letter to President urging him to protect Social Security

President Barack Obama

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write you as the national officers and the presidents of the state chapters of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a national organization of four million members dedicated to securing a better quality of life for all Americans in retirement. We believe that you have the opportunity to renew the nation’s commitment to the Social Security program during the State of the Union Address next week.

Mr. President, Social Security, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010, is the nation’s premier social insurance program. It has provided economic security for millions of Americans of all ages across the last 75 years. From the nation’s youngest, who have lost a parent, to the oldest, who live in retirement, Social Security has been a constant, positive force in our nation’s life. Now, Social Security benefits go to nearly one in four American households.

Without the guaranteed benefits of the program, nearly half of older and disabled Americans would live in poverty. No other program, funded entirely by worker and employer contributions and without government funds, has had such a long lasting positive impact on American life. We are concerned, Mr. President, that many in Washington will try to take advantage of the nation’s current debt situation and cause permanent damage to the Social Security program.

As the Co-Chairs of the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recently pointed out, the Social Security program has not contributed at all to the nation’s debt. While we disagree with many of the Co-Chairs’ Social Security recommendations, such as raising the retirement age and cutting benefits for current and future retirees, the fact remains that the current debt situation should not be a political cover for attacking the Social Security program. We strongly urge you to resist such efforts.

We urge you to speak forcefully in favor of a strengthened Social Security program. We recognize that long term efforts will be necessary to keep the program financially sound as well as being able to provide benefits that are adequate to maintain a dignified quality of life. However, the debate over the current debt situation is not the forum for debating the future of Social Security. We applaud your leadership on vital issues such as health care reform which has benefited our members. We believe you are now in a position to demonstrate that same leadership on behalf of the Social Security program.

Sincerely,

Barbara J. Easterling, President

Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer

Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director

Douglas Hart, President

Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans

Nan Brasmer, President

California Alliance for Retired Americans

Vivian Stovall, President

Colorado Alliance for Retired Americans

Cal Bunnell, President

Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans

Tony Fransetta, President

Florida Alliance for Retired Americans

Kenny Bradford, President

Georgia Alliance for Retired Americans

Al Hamai, President

Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans

Barbara Franklin, President

Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans

Elmer Blankenship, President

Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans

Don Rowen, President

Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans

Mike Vivirito, President

Maryland/DC Alliance for Retired Americans

Dan Mikel, President

Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans

David R. Meinell, President

Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans

Mike Owens, President

Missouri Alliance for Ret Americans Ed Fund

Bob Biel, President

Nebraska Alliance for Retired Americans

Scott Watts, President

Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans

Charlie Balban, President

New Hampshire Alliance for Retired Americans

Barbara Pardo, President

New Mexico Alliance for Retired Americans

Jim Wood, President

New York Alliance for Retired Americans

John Newman, President

North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans

Dave Friesner, President

Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans

Jerry Morris, President

Oregon Alliance for Retired Americans

Jean Friday, President

Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans

John Pernorio, President

Rhode Island Alliance for Retired Americans

Julie Harbin, President

South Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans

Shane Fox, President

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans

John Bloch, President

Vermont Alliance for Retired Americans

Mike Warren, President

Washington Alliance for Retired Americans

Sterling Ball, President

West Virginia Alliance for Retired Americans

Leon Burzynski, President

Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans

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