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Call-In-Day to Oppose the Conrad/Gregg Commission

category_bug_politics.gif If you have been reading here regularly, you know there is a Senate bill (S.2853 – full text) that would create a fast-track commission to make decisions about Social Security and Medicare.

Introduced by Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) in December 2009, it goes by this disingenuous title:

A bill to establish a Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action, to assure the long-term fiscal stability and economic security of the Federal Government of the United States, and to expand future prosperity and growth for all Americans

That sounds innocuous enough except that it hides the bill's real purpose: it is the fulfillment of more than 20 years of lobbying by billionaire Peter. G. Peterson whose goal is to drastically cut, if not kill these programs that benefit millions people who, by the way, paid into the programs during all their working lives.

This week, during the debate on extending our country's debt limit, the Senate will vote on this bill, so we urgently need to make our voices heard.

Beginning today, The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will run a campaign of radio and print ads in Washington to persuade senators that this bill is a bad idea. Here is the NCPSSM's YouTube video:

Tomorrow, 19 January, is Call-In-Day. The NCPSSM is joining with these other elder advocacy groups to flood the Senate with telephone calls against this bill. The other organizations participating are: OWL, AFSCME Retirees, Alliance for Retired Americans, American Association of University Women, Generations United, National Senior Citizens Law Center, NOW, Pension Right Center and Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW).

There is more information at the NCPSSM website. And you can read previous Time Goes By posts on this bill here, here, here and here.

Please join tomorrow in letting your senators know that this bill must not pass. Write down this telephone number: 800-998-0180. After a short message explaining the urgency of contacting our senators, the service will ask you to enter your Zip Code after which it will connect you with the offices of your senators.

Or, you can find individual senators' direct telephone numbers here.

In addition to Senator Kent Conrad who introduced the bill, 34 other senators are co-sponsors – one-third(!) of the Senate. You can check here to see if yours is among them.

Mark your calendar for tomorrow – and I'll remind you on tomorrow's blog post. Please join Call-In-Day. Already, many young adults believe Social Security will not be there for them. They are wrong, but they may not be if this bill is passed.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Judy Watten: A Tulip Story


Today's post goes out to my entire email contact list, too. Thanks, Ronni, for this and for the reminder tomorrow...you know us well.

Great idea, Nance! I'll do the same.

I had a feeling you'd be blogging about this very thing since I read this morning's paper & noted that the senior OH senator is going to devote his last year in office (he's retiring)spearheading a movement to trim the national debt. Good for you, Senator Voinovich. And of course included in the column is the fact that it will mean cuts all around especially for social security & no doubt medicare. I did a slow burn. I had every intention of emailing his office, but now I'll do the call in tomorrow. Thanks Ronni. Dee

As I figured, my Senator Diane Feinstein is on board with this. She is a person of deeply anti-democratic impulses, always has been.

Thanks Ronni.

More than half of the American discretionary budget is devoted to military slash security expenses. Rather than trimming back on elders a good start would be trimming back on war.

When one item takes up half the budget, ya'd think it would stand out as a prime candidate for trimming.

I bet a lot of the sandwich generation would rather have their soldier boys home safe and sound than their parents begging on their doorsteps.

My Senators are not among the co-sponsors. but I will most assuredly call. I was shocked to see Senators Dorgan and Bayh among the cosponsors. Now I am glad that Dorgan will be leaving the Senate.

This bill is so devious that it's shocking. Thank you for your research, Ronni, and for bringing it to our attention.

Annie - amen.

I took up the call at TT myself.

Thanks, Ronni!

Maybe that would help in some places, but here in Utah it's useless to ask your senators to protect you. This state's senators are lined up by the blue dogs and they don't listen to me. We've tried many times; I've about given up.

Don't worry, Ronni. Once, perhaps, the idea of a "Bi-partisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action" might have actually made sense and been possible. Yesterday at a Unitarian Universalist church I heard a man much schooled in these matters dismiss any chance of the bill passing. As we have ample evidence of, any evidence of a bi-partisan impulse in a Republican will lead to the political equivalent of a Stage 5 diagnosis. The same probably holds true for most blue dog Democrats.

I will be on the phone in the morning!!!! And will post a link to this post on my midnight blog post!

Ronni, I appreciate your being on top of these things. I must say I am really disillusioned with our system of government. In general. This feeling comes from what is happening in Massachusetts. I drove up to Boston this weekend, and saw, on the bridges over Route 3, men lustily waving flags, beside super-sized signs with the name of Martha Coakley's opponent, obviously not MA residents. The Tea Party descended on MA with massive amounts of money and energy. That people can be swayed so easily is distressing. Of course, no one has won the election yet, but I cannot understand how a candidate who has proved herself already as attorney general risks being upset by a relative unknown, supported by outsiders. Are people that dumb? That dissatisfied? So impatient? Bush created the mess Obama is cleaning up. I have my doubts about this American system of "democracy" where lobbyists manage to mold policy to their needs. Money seems to be all that matters. How depressing!

AARP has an easy form people can fill out but I also placed two calls, Ronni: https://action.aarp.org/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr004=9sav3u8064.app46b&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=325

Hi Ronnie
Thank you. I have called today and my husband has brought this to the attention of everyone he works with and their family members. All have called today. This just cannot be. I have also notified my news station as to why this subject has fallen between the cracks. Isn't this something that should be reported and reported honestly.

Ronnie several people I alerted of this have contacted me to say they were unable to phone today. One person mentioned being unable to get a call through (I hope that's a good sign)!

Their question put to me is: should they try to call tomorrow, Thursday or Friday - or would it be best to email their rep? Hopefully the window to voice concerns has not closed as of today...

I defer to your advice and will share it expediently with those who have asked me. I post the question here in case others may have the same question.

Many thanks for your (and other readers) input. This issue is too important to miss any available opportunity to voice concerns.



Absolutely try to call tomorrow. And email too.

I think it's good news that people had trouble getting through. I'm pretty sure it means the phones were jammed today.

Thanks Ronnie - will get info/recommendation on to those who need it right away.


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