Retirees with the Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans held a meeting Friday, November 18th at Senator Patty Murray’s office in Tacoma, as the "Super Committee" entered the final hours of their deliberations. This wasn’t a discussion about abstract financial debates, or complex political agreements - it was about real people. These retirees weren’t political insiders that understand the games that politicians play or lobbyists that are paid by powerful special interests. They were regular people who live in Washington State, working hard every day to get by in tough times, and relying on Senator Murray to remember their stories as the "Super Committee" finished its work.
Senator Murray’s office was moved by the presentation of hand-written stories from members across generations identifying the impact of potential cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as well as by personalized testimonies from members Bette Reed from Seattle, and Nancy Lawson from Gig Harbor.
The Washington Alliance put real faces on real problems.
Bette Reed from Seattle is solely dependent on Social Security for her income, and she is by no means alone. She explains the hardship that cutting Social Security would cause for her and others, and the direct impact it would have on increasing the poverty rate among seniors and other populations in Washington and nationwide. She also points out that she does not expect to receive Social Security for nothing. In fact, Reed has contributed to Social Security throughout her entire life, beginning in 1951. Watch her compelling testimony here.
Nancy Lawson from Gig Harbor speaks to Patty Murray here:
The Super Committee announced Monday, November 21st that they could not come to a bi-partisan agreement to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion. This came as good news to seniors in Washington state and across the country as reports indicated many cuts on the table would have fallen on those least able to afford them – seniors and low-income individuals who rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid just to survive – instead of large corporations and the wealthiest individuals. However, the budget deficit debate is not over and retirees will remain engaged and vocal. They will continue to work to make sure that the budget is not balanced only on the backs of seniors and working people who did not create the current crisis and cannot afford to solely fix it.