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Retiree Reaction to State of Union

Retiree Reaction to State of Union:
Don’t Balance Budget on Backs of Seniors

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to budget deficit proposals in tonight’s State of the Union address:

“Retirees support President Obama’s call to reduce the federal budget deficit. They are very uncomfortable with large debt, and do not want to leave behind such a legacy to their children and grandchildren.

“We cannot, however, balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors. Vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare did not cause these large deficits. Reckless tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and to large corporations bear much of the blame.

“Since their creation, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have worked well to keep millions of America’s seniors healthy and out of poverty. 50 million Americans receive Social Security every month, and two in three seniors receive half or more of their income from Social Security. One in five receive all of their income from Social Security. Medicare has reduced senior poverty by two-thirds.

“The reason why Medicare costs are rising is our national failure to reform health care. We must pass a strong health reform bill immediately. It will improve not only our physical health, but also our nation’s fiscal health.

“Americans of all ages have seen their retirement savings badly damaged by Wall Street’s reckless behavior and unchecked greed. We must strengthen – not weaken – retirement savings in this country, including private pensions and 401(k) plans. As distrust in government rises, it is more important than ever that our government honors its commitments to Americans of all ages.”

“The Alliance for Retired Americans looks forward to working with Obama Administration and Congress to improve our nation’s economy and the quality of life for current and future retirees.”

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The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of over 4 million retirees and their families.

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