Hey, Mitt Romney, We've Earned Our Social Security and Medicare!
by Barbara J. Easterling
As a retiree, I was upset to hear that Mitt Romney thinks people our age are "dependent" upon the government.
Social Security and Medicare are not hand-outs. We paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives. We need to keep that promise for today's workers.
While shocking, Romney's private comments mirror his public stances. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the most anti-senior ticket ever, running on a platform that would enrich big insurance companies by creating a voucher-based Medicare program and let Wall Street profit off a risky, privatized Social Security system that would provide lower benefits to workers forced to stay longer on the job.
Before Social Security and Medicare, too many people worked until the day they died or lived out their final years in terrible health and poverty. These offensive comments by Mitt Romney are a stark reminder that he wants to turn back the clock on the great progress our nation has made.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe that our nation should help our young and our elderly and our heroic veterans. Regardless of what Mitt Romney thinks, I am proud to have earned my Social Security and my Medicare.
Barbara J. Easterling is president of the Alliance for Retired Americans. She was previously the secretary-treasurer of the Communications Workers of America.