Alliance members and leaders across the nation have not let up in their efforts to strengthen Social Security and combat proposed cuts from the federal deficit reduction panel. [Arizona Alliance pictured in 2 photos at right.]
Yesterday, the panel released their plan to reduce the federal deficit in a 66 page report entitled "The Moment of Truth." A vote on the proposal by the 16 commissioners was postponed until Friday.
Alliance Executive Director Ed Coyle came out against the plan yesterday saying that it turns a blind eye to tax cuts for millionaires and disproportionately impacts the working class and retirees. Coyle asked, "Since Commission members of all ideologies today acknowledged that Social Security does not add to the deficit, why are these callous, draconian cuts the centerpiece of the Commission’s recommendations?"
Last Tuesday, Alliance members in California and Illinois got the word out in their respective states about the need to ward off cuts to Social Security. The California Alliance (CARA) held press events in L.A. and San Francisco, presenting over 75,000 signatures to Congressman Becerra and Speaker Pelosi urging them to share our NO CUTS message with the Fiscal Commission and with Congress.
The Illinois Alliance held a press conference with Champaign County Health Care Consumers the same day to tout their support for Rep. Jan Schakowsky's (a member of Obama's Fiscal Commission) plan to reduce the federal deficit. Barbara Franklin, President, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans said
Congresswoman Schakowsky’s deficit reduction plan demonstrates that the deficit can be addressed without harming lower and middle-income Americans. The plan balances the federal deficit in a thoughtful and responsible manner, while safeguarding the hard-earned Social Security benefits of retirees.
Unlike the commission’s co-chairs, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, Jan Schakowsky has set forth a plan that does not slash Social Security, give tax breaks to the rich, or cause further harm middle class workers and retirees.
The following day, Wednesday, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) teamed up with the Pennsylvania Alliance to take a stand on the Fiscal Commission's likely recommendations for Social Security cuts in advance of the December 1st release. Seniors and workers discussed the impact of proposed cuts. USW Secretary Treasurer Stan Johnson said at the event, “We cannot allow retirees, our nation’s most vulnerable group, to be made the scapegoats and sacrificed to satisfy the greed of those who are the most well off.” [Photos at right: Jean Friday, President, PA Alliance for Retired Americans; Credit Jim Coleman - SOAR]
This Monday, the Arizona Alliance continued its activities with a press conference and an open letter to Senator John McCain. The Arizona Alliance urged McCain to safeguard Social Security and oppose any proposals that will cut benefits. Download open letter here. Photos here.
On Tuesday, the nation's defenders of Social Security teamed up for a National Call-In Day on Social Security. Capitol Hill's phone lines were slammed Tuesday thanks to concerned citizens nationwide. In fact, the Capitol Switchboard and the phones went down for a while due to the phone traffic. "Hands Off Our Social Security!" was the message sent loud and clear. (The 800 call-in number is still live 1-866-529-7630.)
Next Monday, the Missouri Alliance Educational Fund and Illinois Alliance gather area seniors and guests for Social Security luncheons. The working lunches will seek to separate fact from fiction about Social Security as changes to Social Security is debated in Washington.