Campaign 2010

Oct 17, 2012

Social Security and Medicare Privatization Special-Interest Group Propping up McSally’s Campaign

After supporting controversial plans to end Medicare and privatize Social Security, Martha McSally is now set to receive the support of a controversial, right-wing special interest group called 60 Plus that has long fought to privatize Medicare and Social Security. The group will begin airing TV ads on her behalf tomorrow.
 
60 Plus identifies itself as a “counter” to the well-respected senior citizens advocate AARP. 60 Plus has long advocated privatization of Medicare and Social Security. The group and Martha McSally both back the House Republican Budget that would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit, forcing seniors to pay more in order to pay for tax breaks for big oil and millionaires.
 
“As a reward for her support for controversial plans that force seniors to pay more for their health care, a Washington special-interest group that’s pushing to privatize Medicare and Social Security is now backing Martha McSally,” said Stephen Carter of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Support from pro-privatization Washington groups tell southern Arizona seniors all they need to know about where Martha McSally stands.  She may have the support of extreme special-interest groups but she won’t have the support of Arizona families and seniors who would pay more under her plan.”
 
Background
  
60 Plus Ran Ads Defending the Republican Plan to End Medicare. “The 60 Plus Association — a well-moneyed group that advocates for conservative safety net policies — is running a new ad, starring House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), to defend the GOP plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with private insurance.” [Talking Points Memo, 6/17/11]
 
60-Plus Opposes AARP.  Jim Martin, the head of the 60-Plus Association, has previously said he uses his members to counter AARP.  [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 5/26/02]
 
60 Plus Supports Privatizing Social Security. “Using the 62nd anniversary of Social Security as a backdrop, the 60 Plus Association Aug. 14 became the first national senior citizens group to endorse publicly privatization of the Social Security program.” [60 Plus Association’s Release, 8/15/97]
 
60 Plus Has Long Supported the Privatization of Medicare, Turning Program into Vouchers. The 60 Plus plan from the late 1990s would have privatized Medicare, turning the program into a voucher program that cut benefits and forced seniors to purchase coverage from big insurance. [Washington Times, 6/15/99; Citizens for a Sound Economy/60 Plus Press Release, 2/24/99]
 
60 Plus Funded by Pharmaceutical Industry Grants. “[The Pharmaceutical industry] also reportedly funneled $16 million to two senior citizens' groups that ran ads supporting Republican candidates. The industry won't confirm the figure but says it did provide United Seniors and The 60 Plus Association with grants. Neither group returned calls for comment.” [Associated Press, 11/8/02]
 
McSally “Would Have Voted For” The 2013 Paul Ryan Budget Plan – Called It A “Good Step.”
McSally she “she would have voted for” Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan, and later described it as a “good step” for the country. [KGUN, 4/09/12; Green Valley Republican Club Debate, 4/12/12]
 
Ryan Budget Would Have Ended Medicare.  Ryan’s FY 2013 budget would end Medicare’s guaranteed benefit and protect $40 billion in tax breaks for big oil. It would provide people earning more than $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $265,000, but middle class families could see their taxes go up by one thousand four hundred dollars. [H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for American Progress, 3/20/12; Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12 ; Joint Economic Committee, 6/20/12]

McSally Said She and Jesse Kelly Had “Very Similar Philosophies.” McSally has said that she and Tea Party darling Jesse Kelly do not differ on issues on the issues. She said, “When it comes to the issues…we have very similar philosophies […] We are all in agreement. In a lot of ways, we are preaching to the choir here. OK. So, the choice you have to make is between people of very similar philosophies.” [SaddleBrooke Debate, 3/14/12]
 
Kelly: Social Security and Medicare Are Ponzi Schemes that Should Be Privatized and Phased Out. In a 2010 debate, Kelly talked about Social Security and Medicare and said, “It’s the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. […] Right now, you have to take steps to reform it, to privatize it, to phase it out. […] It’s not an option of ‘should it be done?’ It must be done.” [Arizona Illustrated Debate, 7/30/10]
 
Wanted “More Options to Invest” Social Security Benefits for Returns. Like Jesse Kelly, Martha McSally has said that people need more “options” when it comes to their Social Security benefits. McSally wrote, “We need to look at gradually increasing the retirement age for younger workers and giving individuals more options to invest part of their benefits for higher returns.” [Arizona Daily Star, 3/25/12]
 
Again Supported Raising the Retirement Age and Investing Social Security Outside of the Program. Martha McSally has argued for allowing people to invest their Social Security payments. McSally wrote, “For younger workers, we need to consider approaches such as gradually increasing the retirement age and allowing them to invest a portion of their Social Security payments in ways that will allow them to maximize their returns.” [Green Valley News, 4/04/12]


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