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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011
7:10 PM

CONTACT: Strengthen Social Security Campaign

Josh Rosenblum, Strengthen Social Security, (202) 587-1635, jrosenblum@socialsecurity-works.org

Pamela Tainter-Causey, NCPSSM, 202-216-8414, causeyp@ncpssm.org

Laura Markwardt (ARA), 202-637-5178, lmarkwar@retiredamericans.org

Leading Seniors Groups Call on AARP to Oppose Cuts to Social Security

WASHINGTON - June 17 - Leaders from some of the nation’s most powerful groups representing seniors, including the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) and the Older Women’s League (OWL), today strongly criticized AARP for being willing to support cuts to Social Security benefits, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Strengthen Social Security Campaign Directors Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, NCPSSM Acting CEO Max Richtman, ARA Executive Director Ed Coyle and OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar made the following statements, which are excepted below and available to listen to here

Eric Kingson, Co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign: “Given the economic challenges facing today’s older people, we should focus on how inadequate the nation’s retirement income system is to deal with the very serious risks confronting them. Instead of seeming to position itself as a reasonable inside deal maker that is open to benefit cuts, AARP should be educating about the need to selectively improve Social Security – the one economic security institution that works quite well.

Max Richtman, Acting CEO of NCPSSM: “While AARP is among the nation’s largest lobbyists, it clearly does not speak for all of America’s seniors.  Seniors of all political persuasions, and even voters across all age groups, do not support cutting Social Security benefits.  Offering up Social Security benefit cuts to gain access to closed- door discussions, where Let’s Make a Deal politics has become the norm, is not the way to address strengthening a program that touches the lives of virtually every American family.

ARA Executive Director Ed Coyle: “Our members hope that AARP will directly answer some basic questions.  Do you support any cuts in benefits?  Do you support raising the retirement age?  Do you support means testing?  These are questions that any senior’s organization ought to be prepared to answer directly.”

Bobbie Brinegar, Executive Director of OWL: “The Voice of Midlife and Older Women sincerely hopes that the Wall Street Journal’s depiction of what AARP is undertaking regarding Social Security was off base. Surely AARP would not want to disrespect their members’ wishes.”

Nancy Altman, Co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign: “Americans are overwhelmingly united in their position on Social Security…Politicians who think they can take cover through elite groups in Washington do so at their peril.”

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The Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of more than 300 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.



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