Seniors, Social Security and scare tactics

By Sheila Jackson, Greer SC
SC Alliance for Retired Americans

There is an attempt to frighten us all into accepting political prevarications. It goes like this: Don’t pay any attention to what we are trying to do to Social Security because its not going to be there when you young people retire anyway. We’re trying to save it. We’ll privatize it and the wonderful, infallible free market system of the purely motivated moguls of Wall Street will take good care of you. As opposed to the wasteful inefficient federal government which never does anything right.

Medicare is poorly administered and is therefore too expensive. We’ll get rid of it and give you vouchers to buy insurance on the open market. And for-profit insurance companies will gladly insure you at a reasonable, never increasing premium rate regardless of your health.

I have received my Social Security check on the third Wednesday of every month for the past 10 years. It has never failed to be there. Medicare has never failed to pay what it has promised to pay. Both administered by the federal government.

There are politicians who are funded and controlled by people who profit from the continuing redistribution of wealth from the shrinking middle class to the top 1% — who already control over a quarter of the nation’s wealth. These politicians oppose allowing the top tax rate to return to 39% even though it would hurt no one and preclude raiding the self-funding Social Security trust fund. They prefer instead to yell panic, accuse seniors of being greedy and to do all that they can to destroy something that has worked so phenomenally well to produce a healthy middle class.

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.


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

Public invited to luncheon forum on Social Security and Medicare Jan. 19 in Myrtle Beach

In politics, if you aren’t sitting at the table, you’re probably on the menu. Today, seniors are on the menu. They need a seat at the table.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and state health programs are on the chopping block. Come learn the facts at a public forum Jan. 19, 12:30-2pm at the Myrtle Beach Recreation Center, 800 Gabreski Lane, Myrtle Beach.

The program will lay out what’s happening in both Washington and Columbia that impacts the health and welfare of SC’s seniors.

“This is a great opportunity for retirees to find out more about policy decisions that stand to affect them and their families,” said SC Alliance for Retired Americans President Julie Harbin. “We want to inform and empower seniors to be their own best advocates.”

Brett Bursey, SC Alliance for Retired Americans Vice-President, will talk about pending cuts to Medicaid and a South Carolina grassroots campaign to stop them.

Robert Kearney and Bill Cea of the national Alliance for Retired Americans will discuss threats to Social Security and health care reform, and what the Alliance is doing to protect them.

The public is invited to enjoy free East of Chicago Pizza and tea.

For details, call 803-957-8740 or email