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Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert 5-25-12



Alan Simpson Unleashes Outrageous Attack on California Alliance Seniors
When former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY), co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, ran into California Alliance (CARA) seniors in March, they let him know that they do not support his ideas for addressing the national debt. The activists picketed his appearance in Oakland, where he was trying to grow support for his recommendations. They also passed out a flyer that drew attention to how Simpson’s policies would affect those who are now young. In particular, they called him out on his plan to cut guaranteed Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age and lowering cost-of-living adjustments.

Simpson later went home to Wyoming and wrote a letter responding to the protesters, and he mailed it to CARA last week. By this Wednesday, that letter had gained national attention in publications including Politico (http://politi.co/Jd39BJ), The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. For a link to the Simpson letter, go to http://bit.ly/KyMQ1o.

In the shocking correspondence, Simpson exploded with accusations, saying to CARA:
•    “You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel,”
•    “What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the ‘greedy geezers’ like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap,”
•    “You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bull****.”

Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, said in response, “Sen. Simpson’s letter was not just inappropriate and unbecoming a co-chairman of a White House Commission, but also wrong on the facts. The cuts that he has recommended are an attack on all Americans who want a secure retirement. His ideas would indeed sentence our children to an impoverished old age.”

CARA President Nan Brasmer told Politico, “Alan Simpson’s mean-spirited comments insult the intelligence and dedication of retiree activists who worry about their children and grandchildren’s future. Sen. Simpson sounds an awful lot like Mitt Romney and others who will use the recent Social Security Trustees report as political cover for their radical changes. They would put seniors at risk while enriching Wall Street and the big health insurance companies. For instance, increasing the retirement age - one of their suggestions - would be extremely unfair to workers, particularly those in blue-collar and service sector jobs. And privatizing Social Security would let Wall Street firms profit while gambling workers’ Social Security savings on the roulette wheel of the stock market.”

For a link to the articles about the letter, go to http://bit.ly/KlAfSF. For a video showing CARA members reading it, go to http://bit.ly/KuJQHt.

Alliance Celebrates Older Americans Month
May is Older Americans Month, and Alliance members have been using the time to send “Virtual Post Cards” to their Member of Congress. “The electronic messages thank those who have stood up against the Paul Ryan Republican budget, which would give seniors grossly inadequate vouchers to buy health coverage in the costly, unfair private insurance market, or have them purchase coverage from a Medicare program that would be badly weakened by the exodus of younger, healthier retirees,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance. “The post cards also cite those who support the Ryan budget,” she continued. Activists are then using social media to spread their message and letting local media outlets know they have sent their virtual post cards and why.

Generic, Re-importation Prescription Drug Amendments Voted Down in the Senate
The Senate defeated an amendment on Thursday that would discourage generic and brand-name drug companies from entering into agreements that stall access to generic drugs. Sen. Jeff Bingaman's (D-NM) amendment was meant to speed up the introduction of cheaper drugs to the market by deterring generic-drug companies that filed a patent on a specific drug from being the only company allowed to sell the drug for the first 180 days.  The Senate defeated the amendment to a sweeping FDA drug review bill, 28-67. For a tally of the vote, go to http://1.usa.gov/KZAFNd.

A measure by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would have allowed the importation of cheaper medicines from Canada, likely saving the U.S. billions of dollars on health care spending. It failed 43-54, with bipartisan support and opposition, as an amendment to the FDA drug review bill. For a tally of that vote, go to http://1.usa.gov/JAquU5.

“If we want to control health care spending, we need to pass amendments like the one sponsored by Senator John McCain - as well as Senator Bingaman’s - that address prescription drug costs,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.

Obama Ad Seeks to Gain the Support of Seniors
An ad by the Obama Re-election Campaign focuses on Medicare fraud and mentions the President's grandparents. Click on http://bit.ly/JGt1LB to view it!

Alliance Speaker Tara Maxwell Speaks at “Caring Across Generations” Town Hall
On Monday, Tara Maxwell, the Service Coordinator at Council House - a resident facility in Suitland, Maryland - represented the Alliance on Capitol Hill at the Caring Across Generations legislative town hall. For pictures from the intergenerational event, go to http://bit.ly/JhyjaV.

National Leaders Hit the Midwest
On Wednesday, Mr. Coyle was in St. Louis, Missouri to address the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Also speaking were Earline Jones, President of the Missouri Alliance’s Educational Fund, and Missouri Alliance Organizer Judith Parker, who gave a presentation on stopping voter suppression. The same day, Ms. Easterling was in Indianapolis for the Indianapolis Alliance’s state convention.


For a printable version of this document, go to http://bit.ly/MNckyE.





Comments

petterjoe said…
very good.Very interesting and informative article. Thanks for sharing.I like to read more article like this.Petter Joe

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