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Fanatics in Control of House

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have so many crazy Republicans in it that they don't know which way is up or which way is down. They are afraid to put legislation forward which would prevent the tax increases from going into affect for fear that it would pass, believe it or not.

This is by far the nuttiest bunch of law makers we have ever seen. They are more interested in preventing the richest two percent of Americans from being taxed a little bit more than they are in protecting the middle class and the poor.

They seem determined to allow unemployment compensation from being extended, increase the payroll tax and tax middle class Americans so they don't offend their millionaire and billionaire friends. John Boehner is the most responsible because he is afraid that if the "fiscal cliff" is averted, he will lose his position of Speaker of the House, putting his career ahead of the country.

Republicans continue to seem determined to address the National D…

Hold On To Your Wallets

Wild eyed Republicans are on their way back to Washington D.C. with he intention of Paying down the National Debt on the backs of retirees by passing the so called Chain CPI.

Younger folks get set to take in Ma and Pa and delay your own retirement if they get their way. Now is the time to act. Let these bone heads know what you think of their incapability to govern. Give them a phone call. It's the very least you can do.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 12-21-12

Social Security COLA Cut on Table in “Fiscal Cliff” Talks
While negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner remain stalled, disturbing media reports indicate an option on the table changing the federal statistical formula used to calculate Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). “This would lower Social Security benefits for millions of seniors. Social Security did not cause our federal deficit, and retirees should not pay the price for more tax breaks for millionaires,” said Alliance President Barbara J. Easterling.

Click here to send a message to your elected Representatives! http://bit.ly/ZKBVhY

Known in policy circles as the “chained CPI,” the policy change would mean that an average earner retiring in 2011 at age 65 would lose over $6,000 over 15 years.  The change assumes that a lower COLA is acceptable because consumers could substitute cheaper products when prices go up.  Health care costs, however, consume a large amount of seniors’ incom…

SOAR Opposes Chained CPI

Anyone watching the news or reading the newspapers about our nation’s debt ceiling has heard the term chained CPI.  But what does it mean and how does it affect us?  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative market basket of consumer goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the measures of price change for population groups on an annual basis.

The proposal to move to a “chained” Consumer Price Index (CPI) for making cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to Social Security benefits and indexing income tax will reduce benefits for current and future retirees, while increasing their taxes.

Automatic COLAs for Social Security benefits were enacted in the 1970's, to offset the Social Security beneficiary's additional expenses from one year to the next resulting from inflation.

Replacing the current system with the chained-CPI-U for purposes of calculating the Social Security COLA w…

I have guns but I'm not a "gun lover"

I have guns but I’m not a “gun lover”
My first gun was given to me when I was in kindergarten. It was a shiny new revolver cap pistol and I loved it. All the kids in my neighborhood dressed in cowboy hats and had their cap pistols, holsters, and cowboy shirts. We exchanged the latest cowboy comic books and I suppose I was at that time, a gun lover.
When in sixth grade, Santa brought me a Red Ryder BB gun. Wow, what a Christmas that was. Although warned by parents that we were not to shoot our BB guns at anyone, we would actually chose up sides and have BB gun “wars” out in the woods. What a great time, and besides the occasional sting of a BB on the leg or arm, nobody was seriously hurt.
Later on, I was given a 22 caliber single shot bolt action Remngton rifle from Sears. I used it for hunting squirrels and I still have that rifle and use it once in a while when I get the urge to plink at a few cans in the back yard.
In 1965, I bought my first hand gun. A Smith and Wesson service revolver…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 12-14-12

A Sign of Hope that the Medicare Eligibility Age will not Rise
One of President Barack Obama's top Senate allies says he's been assured by the White House that the President won't yield to GOP demands to increase the eligibility age for Medicare. AP reports that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the revelation to reporters on Thursday, after a Capitol Hill news conference. Increasing the eligibility age is a key demand by Republicans seeking cost curbs in popular benefit programs in exchange for higher tax revenues. Durbin said he's been told that increasing the eligibility age from 65 is “no longer one of the items being considered by the White House.” On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) had written in USA Today that Republicans want to raise the eligibility age as part of any fiscal cliff deal (http://usat.ly/SkqZpm).

“We must remain vigilant – there is still a whole lot of risk,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Other threats to Medic…

A Law Based On Lies, Deception and False Promises

INDIANAPOLIS – Following Governor Snyder's signature of the so-called "Right to Work" law in Michigan last night, Indiana AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott issued the following statement this morning:

"Sadly today the people of Michigan became the latest to fall victim to the lies, deception and false promises of so-called "right to work. As we witnessed in Indiana, the forces of corporate greed will stop at nothing to silence workers' voices in order to drive down wages and increase their profits.

The playbook is largely the same. Elect a governor, who promises not to support this divisive and unnecessary legislation, only to go back on his word. Secure a legislature dominated by one party. Bring in out of state interest groups to spend wheelbarrows of money on advertising to confuse the issue. And, finally, shut the public out of the legislative process by barring public input, ignoring independent research and even locking the doors of the Statehouse.

It …

Republican will lose the next election

What happened in Indiana by passing the "right to work" law allowing scab, mooching, cheapskates in Indiana to be able to take advantage of a union's bargaining power without paying their fair share to help pay for the resulting benefits is now happening in Michigan.

Republican anti labor politicians will learn that this tactic will eventually backfire.

They all should lose the next election.



Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 12-7-12

Alliance Member Dines with Vice President Biden
Maryland/DC Alliance member David Waugh of Bethesda, Maryland had lunch with Vice President Joe Biden today. Waugh was selected to attend the lunch at an Arlington, Virginia diner, because he and his wife are part of the 98% of Americans whose taxes will go up if Congress doesn’t act to extend the middle class tax cuts. Waugh has stated that allowing middle tax class cuts to expire would mean increased difficulties in meeting monthly living expenses such as rent, utilities, car expenses, health care needs, and food. Six other people who would be seriously affected by higher taxes for the middle class also attended the luncheon. Vice President Biden said that it would take “15 minutes” for a bill to get done if House Speaker John Boehner agreed to let taxes on the wealthy go up.

Waugh added, “If my taxes were higher, it would be harder to help my son, who faces high medical bills.”

Fiscal Cliff Talks Continue as Republicans Put a Plan on the…

USW Election 2012

Republicans Are Not In Touch

For Immediate Release – December 3, 2012

Contact: Josh Goldstein 202-637-5018

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard TrumkaOn Republican Budget Letter to President Obama
Republicans in Congress are not in touch with their constituents. They do not seem to understand that they lost the last election because voters rejected their agenda.

And now they are recycling more of the same agenda that was overwhelmingly rejected in November: lower tax rates for the richest Americans and benefit cuts for Social Security and Medicare.

Today the House Republican leadership put forward a plan that would squander trillions of dollars by extending tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans and lowering top tax rates even further.

Speaker Boehner claims this proposal is a “compromise” because it includes $800 billion in tax revenues from closing unspecified “loopholes.”  But this is the same “fuzzy math” that Gov. Romney tried to sell in the last presidential campaign.  We know from the debate over Gov. Romney…

Buy American Made Products

The American factory played a big role in campaign commercials this year and candidates appealed directly to manufacturing workers on jobs, trade and China. In Cleveland, Ohio,  alone, couch potatoes witnessed 5,000 commercial spots highlighting trade. Talk about overload! Now that the election is over, we have another slew of commercials to contend with. If you watch TV, you are well aware of the steep discounts for early birds, and the buy-one-get-one-free deals that seem too good to be true.

The holiday season has arrived and the average American will spend $704 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion. We can all put the focus back on jobs and American manufacturing with as little as $64. Congress isn’t the only group of people that can support job creation. We all can help create jobs in this country by buying American-made products.  

If every one of us spent just $64 a year more on American-made products, we could create 200,000 new jobs here at …

Thanks and The Fight Goes On

I would like to extend a thank you and appreciation to all who made this recent election a success for seniors and the middle class. Any efforts, including those of talking to family members, friends and neighbors, made a difference. Many SOAR members dedicated hours and days getting the message out to voters.

I know it wasn’t easy. The Republicans and their big money donors out spent us 10 to 1. Overcoming the lies, myths and misleading propaganda was a challenge, especially in face of the folks at FOX news. But, we did it, and it proves that money and the influence of the millionaires and billionaires can be overcome by the strength of the seniors, the young, minorities and the working-middleclass and their unions.

Our fight is not over. As I write this I hear talk about the “fiscal cliff,” the federal budget and what the President and Congress may do about it. I also hear that the Republicans expect and are demanding that entitlements must be addressed.

What they are referring to …

How to Address the Fiscal Cliff

The reelection of Barack Obama is truly a historical moment in our nation’s history. I too would like to add my thanks and admiration to all of you who worked so hard on this election.  The success we all just witnessed would never have happened if it wasn’t for the dedication and tireless effort of the thousands of volunteers that donated their time and effort to the USW political program. Our union is well aware of SOAR’s participation and the role our leadership and members played in its success.

As SOAR President, Connie Entrekin has said, we should all take a small break and celebrate our victory. Then, it is back to work! We will need to be the driving force for our agenda. It will not get done if we sit back and wait for it to happen.

Already, there are forces at work that want to make drastic cuts in Medicare and Social Security; that will cripple our recovery to avert the so called “fiscal cliff,” to address our nation’s deficit. This is the wrong approach. The best way to ad…

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 11-30-12

Obama Administration, Sen. Durbin Fight for Social Security in 'Fiscal Cliff' Debate
According to Politico, top officials who have been involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks for many months say the parameters of a deal — including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will most likely contain — are starting to take shape. Earlier this week, White House spokesman Jay Carney had said that Social Security is one program that should be addressed on a “separate track,” telling reporters that the country should address the drivers of the deficit, and that Social Security currently is not driving the deficit.

Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) has also urged his colleagues on Capitol Hill to keep Social Security out of the deficit reduction debates consuming the Capitol in the lame duck session. “Social Security does not add one penny to the deficit,” said Mr. Durbin on ABC’s “This Week.” Sen. Durbin also argued that Social Security is not in crisis, and should not be…

Republicans Speaking with Forked Tongues

During the last election campaign, the Republican candidates were critical of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by saying that Obamacare cut $716 billion from Medicare.

This $716 billion simply went toward eliminating waste, fraud and abuse and putting an end to the bonuses paid to private insurers of Medicare Advantage Plans and not a single senior lost any benefit as a result. As a matter of fact, Medicare benefits actually increased and the life of Medicare was increased by at least eight years.

Now, the GOP is insisting that any budget deal to avoid the so called fiscal cliff must include massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security. These are the programs that retirees depend upon. Does anyone besides myself think the Republicans speak with forked tongues?

Victory Alone is not the Change We Need

The election is finally over!  I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication through this long and sometimes difficult process. With the election behind us, we can all move forward on issues that are important to all Americans. Hopefully, all the fighting over the Affordable Care Act will be over and it will finally be accepted as the law of the land.

In this election cycle, the countless meetings you all attended, the phone banking and block walks, all played a major role in our success. Your dedication and tireless efforts bested the billions of dollars raised to defeat our President and stopped the far right from their extremist agenda that jeopardized the quality of life of working families and retirees.

We should all take a minute to catch our breath, recharge our batteries and celebrate our victory. Then, the work starts all over again! We need to make sure that the lame duck session does no harm to the programs, such as Medicare and Social Security, which a…

Another Myth about Obamacares

MYTH: Seniors will be the ones footing the bill for healthcare reform!
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “[I]t appears as if they want to pay for [health care reform ] on the backs of seniors through Medicare cuts…” (Fox News)

Congressman John Boehner (R-OH) said, “the Democratic [health care] plan cuts Medicare and takes away choices for millions of seniors.” (July 20, 2009)

FACT: Health insurance reform will eliminate wasteful overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans, extend the solvency of Medicare, and include improvements to Medicare benefits and health care for seniors. Medicare will remain strong and stable and seniors will continue to have the choice of doctors and hospitals and increase access to coordinated, high quality care. Health reform is actually key to protecting Medicare.

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans

A Thanksgiving Memory

One recollection comes to my mind this Thanksgiving.

When I was in the 5th and 6th grade, I had a paper route in Hobart, Indiana, delivering the Chicago Tribune to customers in the downtown area.

All the paperboys, about a dozen of us or so, would head up to Kroskey's News Agency on Main Street, head for the back room where tables were set up along the perimeter of a large room. There, the papers for each paperboy were waiting on the tables for us to assemble, fold and place in our canvas paper bags.

After folding them all, I would take the bag out to my bicycle placing the bag on the front fender and securing it to the  handlebars. We had to deliver those papers and get home in time to go to school.

Being a paperboy was a great experience. The responsibility of delivering the papers, collecting money from customers and paying my bill for the papers taught me a lot.

Most customers were really great, and tips from them could be counted on. Two of my best customers were Abbott's Res…

Cequent Towing Flees to Mexico

Cequent Towing, a manufacturer in Goshen, Indiana, has decided to move their plant to Mexico in order to exploit low wage workers there.

I'll do everything I can to make sure that people are aware of this unpatriotic company and ask them to boycott everything made by that company in the future.

In my mind, they're nothing better than traitors to the United States.

Means Testing Social Security? Nope.

Do you oppose means-testing Social Security benefits? Social Security’s popular
support is grounded in the fact that Social Security is an insurance program for every worker: Your contributions earn you the right to benefits when the time comes. Breaking the link between earnings and benefits undermines the very support the program needs for its continued success, leaving it highly vulnerable to benefit cuts in the name of deficit reduction. The Alliance for Retired Americans opposes means-testing benefits.

Party of Entitled Rich Threatens Economy

Posted: 11/19/2012 6:41 am
Republicans, the party of the nation's entitled rich, are holding a knife to the throat of America's frail recovery. The GOP sore losers have America up against a wall. Republicans don't care that the majority of the country voted for a candidate who promised to raise taxes on the rich. Republicans don't care that an even larger majority -60 percent- told election day pollsters they wanted those taxes raised. Republicans don't care about majority-rule democracy at all. They're demanding ransom - extension of tax cuts for the rich. If Americans don't submit, Republicans will slash the nation's economy.
"Back away from your Social Security, your Medicare, your Medicaid," the Republicans are ordering. The GOP insists those crucial social insurance programs be sacrificed to prevent the entitled rich from once again paying the income tax rates that they did during the boom years of Bill Clinton. The party that lost the Presi…

Republican Leadership Lacks Values

During the presidential campaign, the Republican candidates were critical of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by saying that the Act cuts $716 billion from Medicare, even though no senior lost any benefits but rather benefits actually increased and the life of Medicare was increased by eight years because the ACA took that money and is vigorously pursuing waste fraud and abuse and stopping subsidies to Medicare Advantage programs.

Now, the Republican leadership is insisting that any budget deal to avoid the so called fiscal cliff must include massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security, programs that retirees depend upon.

Me thinks the Republicans speak with forked tongue. They should throw their talking points away, take a sabbatical and decide what their core principals really are because as it is now, they have none.

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 11-16-12

Lame Duck Agenda Threatens Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
With the election over, all eyes are focused on the lame-duck session of Congress and the battle to come to a budget agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic tax increases and massive budget cuts set to go into effect at the end of this year. President Barack Obama is entering negotiations with Congressional leaders today and seeking $1.6 trillion in new revenues through taxes aimed at the wealthiest Americans and corporations.  Republican leaders have balked at this proposal, and have continued their opposition to any kind of tax increase, even though the federal tax burden is at its lowest point in decades. The GOP is insisting that any budget deal must include massive cuts to Medicare and Social Security, programs that retirees depend upon.

“With the threat of sequestration ahead, it is more critical than ever for lawmakers to stand up for the programs that ensure a dignified retirement for curr…

Republicans Secured Obamacares

There's no doubt in my mind that those Republican candidates that spoke of "repealing" what they refer to as Obamcare is what clinched the election for Barack Obama.

Mike Pence and Jackie Walorski and others just didn't understand how valuable Obamacares is for working families and retirees.

So, thanks to them, Obamacares is here to stay.

Thank you, Republicans.

War Stinks - Listen to Harry Patch

Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 11-9-12

President Obama Wins Re-Election!
President Barack Obama won re-election over Republican Mitt Romney, gaining at least 303 electoral votes Tuesday night - 33 more than the 270 needed for victory. The President also leads in Florida, but results in that state are not yet final. In the U.S. Senate, Democrats defied the odds to increase their thin majority. If newly-elected Independent Angus King of Maine decides to caucus with the Democrats, the Democratic Party will have picked up two seats, for a 55-45 majority.

Alliance members helped re-elect or sweep into office many Senators with a pro-senior agenda, including Chris Murphy (CT), Joe Donnelly (IN), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Tim Kaine (VA). Alliance activists also played a key role in re-electing senior-friendly senators Sherrod Brown (OH), Bob Casey (PA), Claire McCaskill (MO), and Bill Nelson (FL). Following the election, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) said, “We are not going to mess with Social Security…

Medicare, Social Security Win in Election

For Immediate Release                                         
November 6, 2012

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in reaction to the 2012 Presidential election.

“The American people have spoken. Given clear choices and distinct differences on the issues of Social Security and Medicare – monumentous topics in this year's elections – Americans decided their economic and retirement security, and that of the people in their communities, would be best served by Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

“This year, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid were at the forefront of the national debate. President Obama’s and Vice President Biden’s strong positions to safeguard these landmark American programs are in line with what Americans want and need.

“President Obama and Vice President Biden reminded the nation that both Social Security and Medicare are among America’s greatest success stories and that they are programs that m…

You Don't Own Me

Romney Speaks With Forked Tongue

Your Vote Counts

Now is Not The Time To Let Up

Remember to Vote on November 6th!
Election Day - Tuesday, November 6 - is now just four days away. “I want to thank all of our activists who have been working tirelessly, planning ahead for months,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “Now is not the time to let up. We must decide if we want to elect a President who represents all of us, or just a select few.”

Ms. Easterling continued, “Please make sure to vote this Tuesday if you have not already taken advantage of early voting. We need all hands on deck to make sure that we have the votes of everyone who supports President Barack Obama and other Alliance-endorsed candidates. For everyone – but especially if you live in a swing state like Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New Hampshire, or Pennsylvania: we are relying on you. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden deserve to be re-elected, because they will keep Social Security and Medicare from being privatized and tu…