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They Say They’re Not ‘Greedy Geezers’

by Christine Stuart | Oct 1, 2012 12:38pm
(7) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Congress, Election 2012, Health Care, Taxes

Christine Stuart photo

Seniors protest outside McMahon headquarters in North Haven

A handful of seniors were not happy with Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s remarks on Social Security, so they gathered their friends and brought some signs and a guitar to a protest outside her North Haven headquarters Monday.

McMahon and most of her staff weren’t there. They were in Danbury receiving an endorsement from U.S. Sen. John McCain. But that didn’t matter to the senior citizens determined to make sure drivers along the busy Route 5 were aware of what was going on.

“Social Security for years to come, not just for me,” Mary Elia chanted as she shook her sign.

Elia, who helped organize the rally Monday, said McMahon is hiding some of her positions and it’s not getting much attention.

This is the second time McMahon has run for the U.S. Senate, but the first time she’s been willing to talk about entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Polls show her in a neck-and-neck battle with three-term Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy.

Last week the Huffington Post uploaded a video from a Tea Party gathering in April where McMahon suggested including a Social Security “sunset provision.”

“We cannot continue doing things the way we are doing with Social Security. We’re just simply going to be bankrupt,” McMahon said in April. “And I do believe that, that there are ways to look at, you know, what we’re trying to do when we put Social Security in place? We didn’t go back and review it. In other words, I believe in sunset provisions when we pass this kind of legislation, so that you take a look at it 10, 15 years down the road to make sure that it’s still going to fund itself.”

But Social Security already is the subject of annual reviews, which makes even more confusing McMahon’s comments about setting what her spokesman has called “checkpoints“ for the program.

“Linda McMahon stands for getting rid of Social Security, I believe, because that‘s what sunset means,” Elia said. “A sunset means we’ll end it and think about doing it again.”

She said in the 1980s they tweaked the program because they knew a large number of baby boomers were coming, and they wanted to make sure the fund was solvent as the Social Security rolls swelled.

“It’s unfortunate that people are being deceived by Chris Murphy’s misrepresentation of Linda McMahon’s positions on Social Security and Medicare,” Todd Arbajano, McMahon’s spokesman, said Monday. “Linda won’t vote for a budget that cuts Social Security or Medicare.”

Asked if she would consider privatizing Social Security, Abrajano said, “no.” When it comes to any consideration of turning Medicare into a voucher system, the responses from the McMahon campaign have varied. But immediately following the announcement of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as the vice presidential pick, McMahon’s campaign manager released a statement saying “Linda McMahon will never support a budget that cuts Medicare.”

“There’s a recognition those programs need to be reformed,” Abrajano said. “But her remarks are being taken out of context by Chris Murphy.”

He said all McMahon was referring to when she said the word “sunset” was a recognition that those programs have to be looked at in order to maintain the necessary level of funding.

“She is not supporting ending or phasing out those programs,” Abrajano said.

Elia said ending Social Security or turning it into a 401K-type program says to people, “maybe you’ll have something, maybe you won’t.”

Betty Marafino of West Hartford pointed out that Social Security benefits are not only for seniors, but they also serve the disabled and children.

Marafino said that when Alan Simpson said we’re “greedy geezers,” that’s not true.

“I have four children and 9 grandchildren and I want to preserve Social Security for them,” Marafino said.

Marafino said she doesn’t think McMahon and the Republicans are being vague about their stance on Social Security.

“I think her view and the view of many Republicans is ‘let’s privatize it,’” Marafino said. “This is one thing they want to get their hands on to privatize.”

Bill Collins of New Haven joined the protest and brought along his guitar to try out his new song on the group.

Click the play button below to watch his performance.

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(7) Comments

posted by: Noteworthy | October 1, 2012  1:20pm

Noteworthy Observations:
1. Allan Simpson said you were greedy geezers, Linda didn’t. Take the signage to his office.

2. How do you take what Linda says very plainly, and twist it to mean the exact opposite? People in this story need to listen more than they talk. There’s a reason God gave you two ears and one mouth.

3. If a program has a sunset provision, it means it will end unless reauthorized. In the case of Social Security, look how long it has been since it was last revised all because of “greedy geezers” and political weaklings. Now social security is on the verge of going bankrupt.

4. While Social Security is also for children and the disabled, the number of those claiming disability payments has sky rocketed in the last 4 years making the fund even more unstable. Not all those people are actually disabled and there is a lot of fraud.

5. Nobody is suggesting, not even Ryan, that social security or medicare be changed for anybody in their 50s or older. So the geezers are protesting something that won’t affect them.

It’s time to get honest and clear about the status of all the entitlements and how to shore up their funding and future. Signage and lip syncing by Chris Murphy will not get the job done.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | October 1, 2012  1:29pm

DrHunterSThompson

A senile old man is on the stump for an emty candidate, too typical. Seniors deserve more than they are getting. This right wing thing has got to be destroyed!

HST

posted by: 29allie | October 1, 2012  4:52pm

Wow!  This guy is really good.  We need to get him to more events.  I’m 65 and a grandmother to seven. I wonder if Linda would allow her grandchildren to see her WWE shows?  On her site she doesn’t have one section on “issues”.  How are we suppose to find out where she stands?  Furthermore in order to put your daughter, and husband in scenes where they are almost completely naked takes a misquided woman.  Chracter means a lot to me.  I’m an independent, but wouldn’t sell my soul for money.  I don’t think I want this person to represent me.  She needs to have a moral conscience first.

posted by: redman | October 1, 2012  7:34pm

The is no sense in being stupid unless you demonstrate it. Stop being a dupe and read something, Social security is going bankrupt.

posted by: MrLogical | October 2, 2012  1:53am

Lies?

Lies?

Here’s an immutable fact for all of the SS and Medicare scaremongers in the Democrat party who come out of the woodwork every 2 years of the federal election cycle to scare the bejesus out of the elderly:

Regardless of which party ends up in the White House, and regardless of which party ends up controlling Congress, they ARE going to have to modify Social Security in order to maintain its solvency as a “pay as you go” program for future generations. This will be done in a bipartisan way and will require one or more of the following actions, and probably all 4:

- Longevity indexing
- Progressive price indexing
- Raising eligibility ages
- Raising FICA taxes

This will happen no matter which party occupies the White House or controls Congress.

Why can’t Murphy and his fellow Democrats simply tell the truth about SS instead of resorting to their biennial malicious fear mongering?

Read more here on the subject from the Social Security Administration:

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v66n4/v66n4p37.html

And yes, media outlets have a responsibility to counter the scare-mongering that takes place at every election cycle by informing the public of the TRUTH about Social Security - Medicare as well.

posted by: christopherschaefer | October 2, 2012  5:39am

Last Feb. Rosa DeLauro heavily promoted the Social Security tax cut extension as the—“CENTERPIECE”—of the Democrats “jobs plan”. This put an extra –$14 per week!—back in the paycheck of the average worker. Meanwhile, here’s the Democrats’ “plan” on DeLauro’s own website: “Rosa believes that we must protect the programs that provide necessary services for Connecticut’s senior citizens. She has pushed for cost-of-living increases to Social Security “. So, true to fashion, she panders for votes by highlighting her push for more spending—But DeLauro says NOTHING about what must be done to keep this program from going broke! McMahon has stipulated that any changes to Social Security should be done in a “bipartisan” fashion—something DeLauro and other Democrats have proved utterly incapable of, preferring instead to engage in ceaseless partisan ranting. McMahon also has stated that she would not support changing benefits for current retirees. McMahon: “We cannot continue doing things the way we are doing with Social Security. We’re just simply going to be bankrupt.” Ryan’s proposal, which McMahon has not specifically endorsed but which DeLauro has denounced, preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older; offers workers under 55 the OPTION of investing 1/3rd of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts—identical to the Thrift Savings Plan ALREADY available to Federal employees; includes a property right so retirees can pass on these assets to their heirs;  a guarantee that individuals will not lose any money they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation. Most importantly, his plan makes the program permanently solvent – according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] – by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security’s initial benefits, with an eventual modernization of the retirement age. And Rosa DeLauro’s grand plan for preserving Social Security?
In her own words: “It will never become insolvent.” (speaking in New Haven at Aug. 11, 2010 party celebrating Social Security’s 75th anniversary).

posted by: ramonesfan | October 2, 2012  9:55pm

You gotta give these seniors credit for one thing: they have enough sense to recognize that their interests and Linda’s interests are two very different things.  Can’t say the same for working class Tea Partiers backing the plutocrat from Greenwich.