Mar 19th, 2012 | By | Category: Social Security & Medicare

Seniors Pressure AARP to Stand Firm

The Huffington Post recently published an article calling on AARP to stand firm against cuts in Social Security and Medicare.  Some are reporting that AARP is getting ‘soft’ because it sits in the lap of its life insurance company partners.  The article in HuffPost said AARP “…will soon be holding a private, principals-only ‘salon-style conversation’ with a host of advocates of entitlement cuts.”

“Once again, AARP is working behind the scenes to build support for benefit cuts while masquerading about as an ardent defender of the safety net to its massive, dues-paying membership,” reads a petition from the progressive blog “This is outrageous, and AARP should immediately call off the event and disavow this shameful attempt to throw its weight behind benefit cuts.” (HuffPost, 3/16/2012)

“Ironically, while the CEO of AARP is set to hold a private meeting with people who want to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, the organization has also just launched a national listening tour on the future of Social Security and Medicare. So if there’s ever a time to speak out to AARP, it’s now.  We are joining with other groups including our friends at Social Security Works in making sure AARP hears that everyday Americans don’t want cuts to Social Security benefits. We need to make sure AARP gets this message loud and clear.” (Credo, March 2012)

AARP’s listening tour launches today, March 19, 2012.  SCJ recommends all members let the brass at AARP know: NO CUTS IN SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. The debt issues need to be resolved, but not on our backs.  We live in the wealthiest nation in the world, and we can afford health care for everyone, including senior citizens.  Social Security is not an entitlement.  It is earned income.  We put our retirement money in the Trust Fund, and it needs to be there now to be returned to us as benefits.

Isaiah Poole at the progressive group Campaign for America’s Future also criticized AARP for hosting the salon:

“Here’s a message from one AARP member: You’ve done enough listening. For years now, we’ve had a “debate” about how to make Social Security sustainable for the next 75 years. One side of that debate is using fear-mongering and deception to make the case for dismantling a public vehicle for economic security that many of the people on that side of the debate never believed should exist to begin with. Their dream remains replacing Social Security with a private insurance system that would be a playground for the same Wall Street gamblers and predators whose behavior trashed the value of our 401(k)s during the 2008 financial crash.The other side has consistently spoken the plain truth: Social Security is not in crisis, and the long-term liquidity issues that do indeed need to be addressed are not because benefits are too generous. In fact, they are not generous enough. We should strengthen Social Security, and a simple step we could take today is to lift the payroll tax cap, so that people earning six- and seven-figure incomes can pay more of their fair share into the system.” Huffington Post, March 17, 2012)

All members of AARP need to be sure our voices are heard.  They cannot back down now on support for Social Security and Medicare.

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