AARP Fights Back Against Charges of Giving In on
Cuts to Social Security; Launches TV Ad
CEO reaffirms opposition to cutting Social
Security, asks seniors to pledge help in fight; AARP kicks off TV ad
urging protection for SS and Medicare
AARP TV ad fighting cuts to
senior programs; read more on campaign below
June 20, 2011 – The Wall Street Journal stirred up
a storm last week when it quoted in a news story AARP’s policy director
John Rother saying the senior advocacy group was dropping its objection
to cutting Social Security benefits. AARP CEO A. Barry Rand fired back
that the report was inaccurate and that AARP has not changed its
position on Social Security.
"Let me be clear – AARP is as committed as we've
ever been to fighting to protect Social Security for today's seniors and
strengthening it for future generations,” Rand said.
AP reported that the WSJ story, “set off a firestorm among Social
Security advocates, who roundly criticized AARP as selling out seniors.
Most advocacy groups oppose all cuts to Social Security benefits, even
those that would affect only future generations, such as an increase in
the retirement age.”
The AP quoted Max Richtman, acting CEO of the
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare as saying,
“AARP is losing the confidence of seniors around the country, and not
just seniors but people of every age group”
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AARP CEO
A. Barry Rand offered the following statement in response to inaccurate
media stories on the association's policy on Social Security:
Rand, in the statement he issued, said, "First, we
are currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social
Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause. Social Security should
not be used as a piggy bank to solve the nation's deficit. Any changes
to this lifeline program should happen in a separate, broader discussion
and make retirement more secure for future generations, not less.
"Our focus has always been on the human impact of
changes, not just the budget tables. Which is why, as we have done
numerous times over the last several decades, AARP is engaging our
volunteer Board to evaluate any proposed changes to Social Security to
determine how each might – individually or in different combinations –
impact the lives of current and future retirees given the constantly
changing economic realities they face.
"Second, we have maintained for years – to our
members, the media and elected officials – that long term solvency is
key to protecting and strengthening Social Security for all generations,
and we have urged elected officials in Washington to address the
program's long-term challenges in a way that's fair for all generations.
"It has long been AARP's policy that Social
Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and that it
is sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for
the next 75 years. It has also been a long held position that any
changes would be phased in slowly, over time, and would not affect any
current or near term beneficiaries.
"AARP strongly opposed a privatization plan in
2005, and continues to oppose this approach, because it would eliminate
the guarantee that Social Security provides and reduce benefits, and we
are currently fighting proposals to cut Social Security to pay the
"Social Security is a critically important issue
for our members, their families and Americans of all ages, especially at
a time when many will have less retirement security than previous
generations with fewer pensions, less savings and rising health care
costs. And, as we have been for decades, we will continue to protect
this bedrock of lifetime financial security for all generations of
AARP Launches New TV Ad Calling on Congress to
Protect Medicare and Social Security From Harmful Cuts
Sign the AARP Pledge
Are you in? AARP asking seniors to fight
“political deals that could hurt Medicare and Social Security by signing
a pledge to help.
AARP launched last week a new television ad
campaign to urge Congress not to make any deal to pay the nation's bills
that would result in harmful cuts to critical Medicare and Social
Security benefits that millions of Americans have earned through a
lifetime of hard work, according to a news release from the groups
The new, multi-million dollar advertising will air
nationally and in local markets. In addition to the TV ad, AARP is
engaging its millions of members to make their voices heard through
direct mail, phone calls, email alerts, publications, and tele-townhall
"While some members of Congress are considering
making changes to Medicare's structure, what few people realize is that
some proposals being discussed behind closed doors include harmful cuts
to the critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that are lifelines
for today's seniors in Pennsylvania," said Dick Chevrefils, AARP
Pennsylvania State Director.
"Instead of harmful cuts to Medicare and
Social Security, Congress should cut wasteful spending, close tax
loopholes and work to rein in costs throughout the health care system."
AARP began airing the spots on June 16.
To date, nearly 1.5 million individuals have
already signed a petition to Congress and more than 4,000 calls and
emails have gone into Pennsylvania's congressional offices over the past
several weeks urging Congress to protect Medicare and Social Security
from harmful cuts as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.
Chevrefils added: "This campaign, along with our
new ad will put Congress on notice that AARP will fight with the
strength of our millions of members to prevent harmful cuts to Medicare
and Social Security from being included in any deal to pay the nation's
bills. Congress needs to reduce our nation's debt, but harmful cuts or
across-the-board spending limits will hurt today's seniors in
Pennsylvania and do little to reduce health care costs over the
“AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with
a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control
in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a
whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make
contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce
AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the
world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers;
AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and
Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated
exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org.
AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security,
protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from
thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices
in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.
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