The following is a response from AARP President Rob Romasco to a recent New York Times op-ed by Tom Friedman:
Credit Thomas Friedman for advancing the much needed conversation on the retirement security for all Americans via his “Sorry Kids, We Ate It All.” However, the analysis is incomplete both in fact and in context.
Total public investment for older and younger Americans is roughly equal.
Our members fight to protect Social Security and Medicare because they want their kids, grandkids and families to succeed. These programs help older Americans live with dignity and independence and not burden their families.
They also understand that these programs will be even more important in the future as saving for retirement is increasingly difficult given stagnant wages and near extinction of traditional pensions.
Faced with these realities, cutting benefits and eligibility makes little sense. We encourage a separate conversation about retirement and Social Security and support specific solutions to strengthen Medicare finances without harmful benefit cuts. Above all we urge a relentless focus on the biggest threat to the financial well-being of individuals, employers and government budgets: the growing cost of health care.
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