Don’t Cut Social Security

Americans United For Change's recently released its newest ad, calling on Congress to stop efforts to privatize and cut Social Security.

07.28.06 | permalink

West Virginians United Friday Forums

Join West Virginians United in supporting retirement security for America’s seniors and disabled citizens!

WV Citizen Action is hosting a series of weekly forums around the state, educating seniors on the dangers of privatizing Social Security and the fixes need in the Part D Prescription Drug program. President Bush and his backers in Congress have worked to privatize these entitlement programs, which would effectively cut benefits and take money out of the pockets of deserving American families. Come learn more about these programs and how you can help to preserve them by attending an event near you.

07.27.06 | permalink

Donut Hole video

This video clip is part of  "The Problems with the Medicare Drug Problem-- and How to Fix Them" hosted by Walter Cronkite and created by FamilesUSA.

This video clip is a great visual representation of how the donut hole is hurting millions of seniors. Americans United For Change will continue to educate seniors about the donut hole and take a stand against it. The donut hole is swindling seniors of their life savings and Americans United will not sit by quietly as a generation is financially destroyed.

07.24.06 | permalink

25,000 to Fight Privatization

In the past week over 25,000 people have joined together through Americans United For Change to stop the privatization of Social Security. Earlier today, Jeremy Funk sent out the following message to our new volunteers:

Dear Friend, 

Last week you took a chance on us. You signed on to the latest round in the fight to protect Social Security from a guerilla attack by right-wing ideologues and corporate interests.

We won this fight before. In fact, we won it pretty overwhelmingly. Privatizing Social Security is now so unpopular that the Bush administration and its allies are gearing up to push it through under the radar of the public and the media.

Now we're going to win it again. You and 25,000 others have said that you're ready to mix it up and be part of an innovative nationwide grassroots effort to expose the effort to dismantle Social Security.

I can't get into all the details yet, but we'll be in touch soon with important and exciting opportunities for you to take direct action in this fight to protect Social Security.

I can give you one hint, though.

How do we beat back the guerilla campaign against Social Security?

One of our tools will be a gorilla campaign of our own:

Thanks for stepping up and getting in the fight.

Jeremy Funk
Americans United for Change

P.S. --If you know someone who should be part of the fight, let them know by sending them an invitation to join:

07.17.06 | permalink

Social Security: White House Pops Champagne; Deficit Now Only Fourth-Highest in History

At the Executive Mansion this morning, Bush administration aides broke out the bubbly about a new report they aim to spin as good news: the budget deficit created by Bush policies now looks slightly less huge than feared:

President Bush hailed new budget figures released this morning that shows the deficit is $127 billion less than what he predicted earlier this year.

Bush credited the revised number to his economic policies including tax cuts, efforts to rein in federal spending as well as his pro-growth policies.

"This good news is no accident," he said in a short speech from the White House. "It is the result of the hard work of the American people and sound policies in Washington, D.C."

Earlier this year, Bush suggested the deficit would be $423 billion, but the mid-year budget review released this morning shows the revised figure to be $296 billion.

Just great, Mr. President, but one question: how does running any deficit put us in better position to put enough aside in the trust fund -- that Bush claims doesn't exist -- to pay for the retirement of the baby boom generation? And why has President Bush embraced a private-accounts 'reform' plan that, in the process of undercutting retirement security, would make the budget deficit worse?

07.14.06 | permalink

Americans United For Change: If It’s a Fight The White House Wants…

... we'll give them one -- and according to the insider Washington paper Roll Call we can expect company aplenty on the front lines [emphasis added]:

Brendan Daly, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), acknowledged that there are few legislative opportunities left in the House this year to highlight party differences on Social Security revisions. But Daly said Members still plan to “talk about it whenever they can to remind people that this isn’t just a fleeting idea.”

“This is something Republicans are committed to — they want to privatize Social Security,” he said. “Is it politically good for us? Yes. But that’s not why it’s such a big deal. Democrats are committed to protecting Social Security because it is one of our core values.”

... While Congressional Democrats dust off their battle plan, Americans United, the outside group that led efforts across the country last year to beat back overhaul efforts, is mounting a renewed campaign of its own to call attention to individuals’ positions on the issue. ...

“Our effort is not about the outcome of the election, but the outcome of the issue,” said Brad Woodhouse, spokesman for Americans United. Woodhouse added that his organization, which in January decided to expand its focus to other causes, was “always planning to return to this issue” to remind voters once again about Bush’s plans to privatize the system. But, Woodhouse said, “the Republicans’ recent actions and statements about returning to it have just made the issue and our returning to it more urgent and more timely.”

Republicans still want to end Social Security -- and we need to get the word out now, to stop them before they have the chance. Take action today.

07.14.06 | permalink

Social Security: Republican Senator Decries Democrats for ‘Scare Tactics’

... which strikes us as rich -- because forcing seniors to rely on private accounts to live through retirement, when you look at the numbers, is the scariest tactic of all. But we digress, so let's go back to the comments of Senate Finance Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), reported in the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

Grassley said the Democrats are losing Iraq as a political issue to recapture a congressional majority and have fallen back to "scare tactics" about Social Security to fuel their campaign.

"I don’t think I agree right now there is a big push by anybody to set up personal accounts" under Social Security, Grassley told Iowa reporters.

Oh, of course not, Senator. Only a conspiracy theorist would look at the new moves by the White House Office of Management and Budget (*.pdf):

The Mid-Session Budget Review released by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today included a proposal that would spend $721 billion – nearly $10 billion more than originally planned in the President’s original Fiscal Year 2007 budget – to turn Social Security into a system of private accounts with lower guaranteed benefits to Americans. The President’s proposal to privatize Social Security includes significant cuts in guaranteed benefits for the vast majority of Social Security recipients through the indexing of initial benefits to prices, rather than wages.

... senior members of the House Ways & Means Committee:

Congress should make Social Security overhaul its top priority next year ... House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery, R-La., said today ... "If we can get [Social Security] done, I think that buys us the political capital to move on to the bigger issues of health care," he said.

... or the President of the United States:

Now is the time for the Congress and the President to work together to reform Medicare and reform Social Security so we can leave behind a solvent balance sheet for our next generation of Americans. ... If we can't get it done this year, I'm going to try next year. And if we can't get it done next year, I'm going to try the year after that, because it is the right thing to do.

... and get any sense that, deep in their hearts, Republicans want to cashier Social Security. Thank you, Senator Grassley, for setting that straight.

Let's make a deal: when Republican leaders quit trying to privatize Social Security -- to sneak it through the back door, as it were -- we'll reevaluate whether it's safe to quit warning America that Republicans want to privatize it. Capisce?

07.14.06 | permalink

Integrity in Government: Pentagon Axes Sweetheart Deal with Halliburton

... at long last, only a few years -- no sour grapes, mind -- after a sane observer would have cut the company loose [emphasis added]:

The Army is discontinuing a controversial multibillion-dollar deal with oil services giant Halliburton Co. to provide logistical support to U.S. troops worldwide, a decision that could cut deeply into the firm's dominance of government contracting in Iraq.

The choice comes after several years of attacks from critics who saw the contract as a symbol of politically connected corporations profiteering on the war.

Under the deal, Halliburton had exclusive rights to provide the military with a wide range of work that included keeping soldiers around the world fed, sheltered and in communication with friends and family back home. Government audits turned up more than $1 billion in questionable costs. Whistle-blowers told how the company charged $45 per case of soda, double-billed on meals and allowed troops to bathe in contaminated water.

Forgive our pique -- okay, a few sour grapes here, sue us -- but how did Halliburton swindle this contract in the first place? Did no one in the government have an inkling that handing a huge, no-bid defense contract to a company in whose success Vice President Cheney has a massive stake (*.pdf) makes a lousy idea?

Oh, wait: someone did. The Pentagon -- surprise! -- demoted her. Pity, that.

07.14.06 | permalink

Eliminate the Doughnut Hole Now!!

Join Americans United For Change and our state partners to send Congress a Strong Message:

Eliminate the Doughnut Hole Now!!

Over 6 million Americans enrolled in Part D will fall into this coverage gap. Once the total medication costs have exceeded $2,250, senior citizens and disabled persons must pay for their medicine completely out of pocket, while still paying a monthly premium. Individuals can only escape the doughnut hole if their total drug costs exceed $5,100. Only Congress can fix this misguided and harmful provision.

The embattled prescription drug law known as Part D has been called costly, confusing and corrupt because it was written to benefit drug and insurance companies more than seniors.  We are urging Congress and President Bush to fix Part D to provide a drug benefit that is simple, affordable and guaranteed.
Join us for the release of the new study by the Institute for America’s Future which shows that thousands of senior and disabled Americans face dire health consequences as they fall into the Part D ‘Donut Hole’ Trap.
Find an event near you


Will you help put a human face on the Medicare Part D Disaster? 

07.07.06 | permalink

Faithful Montanans for a Living Wage

Americans United For Change and the Progressive Clergy Alliance show their support for Initiative 151 to raise Montana’s minimum wage.

The Montana Progressive Clergy Alliance is hosting a rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday, July 13, 2006 at Noon to call on Montana to help Raise Montana by passing I-151, an initiative on the 2006 ballot that would raise the current Montana minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour by $1 to $6.15 an hour.  Lt. Governor John Bollinger will emcee the festivities which will include music and speakers from the faith community across Montana.

Join us on July 13th from noon until 1pm at the Montana Capitol Rotunda in Helena, Montana to show your support for increasing Montana’s minimum wage.  To RSVP click here

07.07.06 | permalink

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