NRLN Action Alert
To: NRLN Grassroots Advocates
From: Bill Kadereit, NRLN President
Here’s an NRLN news flash for President Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner. Retirees—including those whose only income is Social Security—are part of America’s economy. Why did you ignore them?
Apparently, this trio was ignorant of, or ignored, that fact last week when they announced their agreement to push legislation for an economic stimulus package. About 20 million seniors living solely or chiefly on Social Security would be left out of the rebate equation unless they have at least $3,000 of earned income.
Under the proposed legislation endorsed by the President and Democrat and Republican House Leaders, individuals with higher incomes will get 10 percent of the first $6,000 of taxable income up to a $600 rebate, or 10 percent of the first $12,000 of taxable income if married and filing jointly for a maximum rebate of $1,200.
If individuals pay no income taxes but have earned at least $3,000 in wages, they will be eligible for a $300 rebate, or $600 if married.
At the other end of the economic scale, any married couple earning up to $150,000 will be eligible for at least a partial rebate.
As a retiree—whether or not you would receive a rebate check—you should take action now to convince the President and members of Congress to allow all older Americans to benefit from the economic stimulus legislation.
Some U.S. Senators are considering legislation to fix the problem that would exclude about half of the Americans age 65 and older. The Senators’ efforts are opposed by President Bush who has urged Congress to quickly past the package without any further spending. "I strongly believe it would be a mistake to delay or derail this bill," Bush was quoted in a news report as saying.
The NRLN supports Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus’ interest in providing checks to low-income retirees, who are left out of the House plan because they cannot show $3,000 in earned income.
There is not a more justifiable way to stimulate our economy than to provide rebate dollars to those who would immediately spend money on living essentials, such as food, clothing, shelter, higher healthcare premiums and high prescription drug costs largely caused by politicians’ failure to create competition, competitive bidding, importation, and expeditious generic drug approvals, etc.
The intent to exclude low-income older Americans from the rebates is another example of how our elected officials are hammering retirees once again on the heels of the administration’s EEOC rule and the continuing wanton disregard for the hardships caused by former employers shifting healthcare insurance costs to tens of millions of retirees.
It is critical that you immediately speak out against the exclusion of millions of retirees from the proposed rebates. Personalize the NRLN’s sample letter on this issue available on the NRLN website at: http://capwiz.com/abtr/home/. Click on the “Take Action” tab, type in your zip code and your elected officials will be identified. Edit the letter to include personal comments and email it to President Bush and your U.S. Representative and Senators.
If you should have a problem accessing the link above, go to http://www.nrln.org and click on the Action Alert link in the first paragraph.
In addition to sending your letter, call the White House and the Washington, DC or in-state office of your elected representatives to voice your concerns. The phone numbers are available from links on the NRLN website at: http://capwiz.com/abtr/dbq/officials/
Please take action now to demand that all retirees, regardless of source and limited level of income, be included for the economic stimulus rebates. Send this email to your family members and friends and encourage them to join you in speaking out on this issue.
Bill Kadereit, NRLN President
Capwiz Letter to President Bush, U.S. Representatives & Senators
I am a retiree who is outraged over the proposed economic stimulus legislation that would exclude rebates to some 20 million Americans whose income is solely or chiefly from Social Security. Lower income retirees are part of our economy, too, and would put a rebate to immediate use for mostly living essentials.
If a married couple earning up to $150,000 will be eligible for at least a partial rebate, it is unconscionable for low-income seniors to be left out.
I urge you to recognize it would be grossly unfair not to provide some level of rebates to those struggling to survive from month to month mainly or totally on their Social Security check. Retirees can use the extra dollars from a rebate to pay for food, clothing, shelter, increased healthcare premiums and the higher prescription drug costs largely caused by politicians’ failure to create competition, competitive bidding, importation, and expeditious generic drug approvals, etc.
As a member of the National Retiree Legislative Network, I believe in the fair treatment of retirees and all older Americans. I think Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is on the right track in wanting to provide checks to low-income retirees, who are left out of the House plan because they cannot show $3,000 in earned income. I will look forward to hearing from you that all seniors—regardless of source and limited level of income—will be afforded the opportunity to participate in America’s economic recovery by receiving a rebate check.