AARP has launched an elaborate nationwide effort to pave the way for public acceptance of "reforms" to Social Security and Medicare -- but the only reforms they want us to accept are cuts to these essential programs.
Under the guise of asking people for their opinion, AARP's "You've Earned a Say" survey is decidedly narrow, without options for expanding benefits, opposing cuts or scrapping the cap on payroll taxes so the highest earners pay their fair share into the system. Instead, respondents are pigeon-holed into agreeing that Social Security and Medicare are in crisis and that "changes" (meaning those that will disproportionately impact the most vulnerable among us) are inevitable.
The truth, however, is that Social Security and Medicare are the most successful social programs in our country's history, keeping millions of middle-class families out of poverty. Senior women are especially reliant on Social Security and Medicare, mostly because after a lifetime of unequal pay, women have less in savings and far less generous pensions than men.
When it comes to the U.S. economy and the federal budget, these programs are the solution -- not the problem -- and benefits need to be strengthened and modernized, not cut. But if AARP gets behind proposals to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits by raising the retirement age or switching to a stingier COLA, it will provide high-profile cover for those seeking to dismantle these programs by making their dangerous ideas seem mainstream.
You HAVE Earned a Say: Since AARP is claiming it wants to hear from people, we think it's only fair that we give folks a REAL chance to speak out.
At a time when seniors, especially senior women, need support the most, we cannot afford to embolden the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable, which have spent years smearing the most successful programs in our country's history.