AARP Opens the Door to Social Security Changes – Offers more than “milk and cookies”

Third Way’s Cowan: “The time has come to move on Social Security reform”

June 17, 2011

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Third Way President Jonathan Cowan issued the following statement in response to today’s report in the Wall Street Journal about AARP:

WASHINGTON – “Today marks a watershed moment in American politics. For decades, AARP has stood against any substantial changes to Social Security. Now that they have opened the door to reform, it is time for lawmakers to walk through it.

“In January, Third Way became one of the only progressive organizations to put a real Social Security reform plan on the table. Our ‘savings-led’ proposal would actually increase Social Security’s progressivity. We don’t agree with AARP on all of the details of what reform would entail – they want to rely mostly on tax increases, while our plan would make about two dollars in benefit reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases. But we applaud John Rother and their Board for acknowledging that change is needed which will enable both parties to get serious about reforming Social Security.

“Two decades ago, I co-founded a group of young people, Lead…Or Leave, that demanded major changes in Social Security. I helped lead the first – and probably the only – protest in front of AARP’s building. With hundreds of young people shouting on the sidewalk, AARP’s leaders invited us in to talk. But when we saw the conference table was set with milk and cookies, we knew they weren’t serious. Now, at long last, they are.”



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Michael Schmidt

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