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Major Mobilization Effort Spotlighting Renewed Threat to Social Security and Medicare

August 11th, 2010

Americans United for Change Returns to Roots, Announces Major Mobilization Effort Spotlighting Renewed Threat to Social Security and Medicare

 

Group That Led National Campaign to Defeat the Bush Privatization Scheme in 2005 Mounts Effort in 10 Battleground States Pressuring Political Leaders to ‘Take a Stand’ on U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s ‘Roadmap to Ruin’

 

Washington DC– In the week that marks the momentous 75th anniversary of the Social Security Act, progressive issue-advocacy group Americans United for Change launched an aggressive public accountability project in 10 battleground states to spotlight a renewed threat to the cherished social safety net that has been credited with lifting millions of seniors, survivors and disabled Americans out of poverty.

 

Known formerly as Americans United to Protect Social Security, AUFC led the national campaign to defeat President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security in 2005. In a return to its roots and as one of 65 national organizations that have joined together under the umbrella of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, Americans United has hired staff in Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Washington andNew Hampshire with the mission of mobilizing local Social Security and Medicare advocates to pressure their members of Congress and political leaders to ‘take a stand’ on the “Roadmap to Ruin” and other plans to cut Social Security benefits and break the promise to millions of Americans.

 

The "Roadmap to Ruin” -- officially known as the “Roadmap to America’s Future” -- is a detailed proposal put forward by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and embraced by a number of GOP federal candidates and members of Congress that would bring an end to Social Security and Medicare as we know it.  This extremist budget from the Ranking Republican Member of the House Budget Committee would revive the same risky Bush privatization scheme for Social Security that was overwhelmingly rejected by the American public. Under this plan, guaranteed benefits would be siphoned off from the trust fund and placed in the hands of Wall Street bankers.   The Ryan ‘Roadmap’ also calls for replacing Medicare with a voucher system, that according to Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman: “would have higher, not lower, costs than our current system. The only way the Ryan plan could save money would be by making those vouchers too small to pay for adequate coverage.”

 

            Advocates will also call on public officials and political leaders to stand firm against any cuts – including plans to raise the retirement age – currently being discussed by the Fiscal Commission in Washington. And supporters of Social Security will remind those who claim the system is in “crisis” that Social Security is solvent. The real issue, they will remind Americans, is that we will have to pay the Social Security Trust Fund back for the money borrowed to cover tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Republicans calling for tax cuts to be extended will be warned about the consequences of forcing seniors and the middle class to pay for those cuts with their Social Security savings.

 

Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change:“There is a very serious proposal on the table to privatize Social Security and Medicare from a Congressman who could one day be in a position to advance this misguided, Bush-era scheme to make Wall Street bankers richer.  The American people deserve an answer from political leaders about whether they support this plan to hack away at the guaranteed health and safety net for America’s seniors.  Questions politicians can be expect to hear at public forums over and over again until they give a straight yes or no answer: Are you for privatizing Social Security and slashing guaranteed benefits, or not?  Are you for raising the age or retirement, or not?  Are you for replacing Medicare with voucher system that won’t even cover the full cost of medical care or prescriptions, or not?”  It’s going to be a long, hot summer for politicians who try to duck and dodge questions or play word games about where they stand on the ‘Roadmap’ to dismantling Social Security and Medicare.”

 

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Growing GOP/Tea Party Support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap to Ruin”

 

Rep. Paul Ryan's daring budget proposal: ‘To move us to surpluses, Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs.’ [Ezra Klein, WashingtonPost.com, 2/1/10]

 

Paul Ryan’s Budget Alternative: Massive Rationing

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/02/paul-ryans-budget-alternative-massive-rationing/

 

Dick Armey Leads Tea Party Candidates Down Unpopular Path To Social Security Privatization

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/11/dorner-social-security/

 

Social Security Back on the Agenda for GOP Candidates?

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/social-security-back-on-the-agenda-for-gop-candidates/61238/

 

DAN COATS BECOMES FOURTH REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE TO ENDORSE PAUL RYAN SOCIAL SECURITY PRIVATIZATION PLAN:‘Dan Coats joins Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio, and Arkansas Republican Senate candidate John Boozman, in endorsing the radical and risky Ryan “Roadmap” to privatize Social Security.’

http://www.dscc.org/news?type=press_release&press_release_KEY=1577