28 April 2010

Financial Reform: A Good Thing For Seniors, Boomers, & Working Families

Financial Reform Bill Will Protect Seniors,
Retiree Leader Says

Retirement Security Devastated in Recent Years

Below are the prepared remarks of Alliance for Retired Americans President Barbara J. Easterling, who today joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Senators in support of a financial reform bill.
On behalf of the 4 million members of the Alliance for Retired Americans, I am proud to support S 3217.  It is time for certain Senators to act in the best interests of people, not profits.

Seniors are struggling to get by in today’s economy.  They are the victims of years of unchecked greed and abuse on Wall Street.  The stock market plunge and the collapse of housing values have combined to devastate their retirement security.

Many retirees dedicated their whole lives to companies who were pressured by Wall Street into gambling away their pensions and savings.  While this was happening our government just stood idly by, like the lookout man at a bank robbery.

Seniors are increasingly the victims of financial scams and marketing abuses.  They are looking to the federal government for help.  They want to finally feel like the government is on their side.

This legislation would do just that.  It would require that the terms and conditions of loans and credit cards be written in plain English.  It would put in place strict new rules to protect seniors from gimmicks and predatory lending.  And it would create a powerful new federal watchdog to stand on the side of consumers.  It would provide badly-needed financial education to people of all ages, including seniors.

But older Americans care about more than just themselves.  We worry about our children and grandchildren in these difficult times.  We want them to be able to find a good job and be able to save money to buy a home, start a family, and have a safe and secure retirement when their working days are done.

Mr. Majority Leader, our current financial system is failing our nation’s seniors.  The Alliance for Retired Americans strongly supports this bill.  It is time for the Senate to act.
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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