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30 April 2010
"Greedy Geezers" Lead Nationwide Protest!
Angry Seniors Lead Nationwide Protest;
as Fiscal Commission Meets in DC
On Tuesday in Washington, DC, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform met for the first time. Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton, and retired Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY), co-chair the Commission. Click on THIS LINK for a list of the 18 members who make up the panel.
The Commission could determine the future of Social Security; however, after Tuesday's opening session, it plans to hold most of its meetings outside of the public eye, behind closed doors. Older American activists have been contacting their elected officials, saying that the Commission's deliberations - and the future of Social Security - are too important to be kept secret.
Alliance for Retired Americans members sent more than 3,600 letters to their elected officials driving their point home this week. "We must bring this new Commission's meetings out into the sunshine, so everyone can see firsthand just how important Social Security is to Americans of all ages," said Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance.
Alliance chapters across the country acted to draw attention to the closed meetings as well as the threat of cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
In California, letters were delivered in person to Congressional offices all over the state. New Hampshire Alliance members protested in front of the office of Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH). Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, and South Carolina Alliance members hand-delivered letters to the offices of several elected officials, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and John Spratt (D-SC). The Iowa Alliance published letters to Illinois editors, and the New Mexico Alliance was invited to voice their opinions on television. Other states also contributed energetically to the effort. "Thank you all for your creativity and work," said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
Former Sen. Simpson aggravated seniors last weekend on Fox News Sunday, when he complained about older Americans who are concerned with the possibility of cuts to their Social Security benefits. "Where do I get my mail?" he asked. "From these old cats 70 and 80 years old who are not affected in one whiff. People who live in gated communities and drive their Lexus to the Perkins restaurant to get the AARP discount. This is madness."