S. A. F. E.
SENIORS AGAINST FEDERAL EXTRAVAGANCE
Volume 1, Number 1 Spring, 1996
What Is SAFE?
We are a grass-roots, non-partisan group of senior citizens who are concerned about the Federal debt problem and the danger it poses to our children and grandchildren.
We strongly oppose the big government agenda of AARP lobbyists and believe the solution to the debt problem is to cut spending more than Congress is even considering. We hope to be a significant force toward that end using the following means:
1. Informing senior citizens of the seriousness of the problem.
2. Promoting elimination or cut-back of specific government programs.
3. Enrolling large numbers of senior Delawareans in SAFE.
4. Encouraging the formation of similar organizations in other states We'll be seeking more members by telephoning older Delawareans, giving talks and getting media publicity.
What's Happening .
On March 13, Bill Morris was interviewed by Janet Andrelczyk at The Daily Whale newspaper in Lewes; the article will be published the week of March 25. She asked Bill to write a "Guest Opinion" which was published on March 20. They used our March, 1996, Statement (enclosed).
Bill and Stanley Mourn taped a half-hour talk show with Johnny Williams at WSSR/WZBH in Georgetown. That show is expected to air on Sunday, March 24: 900 AM @ 9:30 am (most listeners over 50) 93.5 FM @ 11:30 pm (most listeners under 30) Stanley expressed surprise at how quickly the 30 minute taping passed. Johnny invited Bill and Stanley to return in about six months.
* * * * * * * * * * * *The final page of this newsletter is a forum for you to send with your contribution to SAFE. In order for SAFE to be a grass-roots organization, we must have your input Please use extra sheets if necessary to communicate your ideas and volunteer your skills.
We're Getting Organized .Based on the belief that a 7-year balanced budget is much too late and the realization of the unpredictability of financial crises, we wish to move rapidly. The following have agreed to serve:
|New Castle Chair:|
|Membership List:||Tom Vick Roy||478-2561|
As we grow, we'll need a Kent County Chair and maybe four New Castle County Chairs. Bob Altemus is establishing a bank account, but doesn't have a computer, so we'll need a Treasurer with a computer as we grow larger. We'll need an auditor, a pro-bono lawyer, a media representative, speakers, experts on Social Security and other government areas, and leaders of special projects. Please let us know what you're willing and able to do, using the sheet that accompanies your contribution. We're looking into the infrastructure needed for a larger organization. This includes a Constitution and By-Laws needed for Non-Profit status. Also copyright status of "SAFE", and a Board of Directors to keep us a viable organization. We need and welcome your input.
* * * * * * * *
From our State Chair - Bill Morris . . .After this newsletter, we should have 100 + dues-paying members. We'll be seeking hundreds more by telephoning older Delawareans, giving talks and getting publicity. We will schedule a meeting after we digest the contribution information sheets you return. We'll be seeking a consensus on where we want to cut spending and what we're willing to put on the table.
We need more leaders - if you can take a leadership role, please tell us. We hope to have some real clout soon. Let's go for it!
About this newsletter . . .
This is the first SAFE newsletter. At present, we have no specific publication dates, but we hope to publish regularly as we grow. We'll need help in folding and mailing; please volunteer if you can help. Also, we need articles (brief), information, and ideas.
NATIONAL TAXPAYER'S UNION FINDS AARP COSTS NATION
$1 TRILLION PLUS
A National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) study reveals that the 34 million member American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) advocates policies that would increase annual federal spending by at least $1 trillion over the next decade - equal to a tax bill of almost $1000 MORE per American family per year.
The AARP, considered one of the most powerful lobbying groups on Capitol Hill is part of the problem: the Washington, D. C., office has consistently pushed for more government spending. The NTUF report, the first in a series designed to expose the role of unaccountable lobbies in precipitating the deficit, details cost estimates for more than 100 separate tax and spending hikes in AARP's 400 page federal legislative agenda.
AARP developed misleading studies on the cost of the Catastrophic Health Care Act of 1988 and gave Congress the impression that senior citizens supported the requisite higher taxes and spending. AARP's members revolted against the $9 billion in tax hikes contained in the measure, forcing AARP lobbyists to advocate repeal. AARP also led special interest opposition to the Balanced Budget Amendment, despite polls that showed a vast majority of its members supported the Amendment.
The AARP has huge cash reserves, yet it receives government grants of about $80 million per year. The AARP local chapters serve a useful function for a small percentage of AARP members, and perform useful community services. However, we believe the legislative agenda of AARP is a disaster for this country, and runs counter to the desires of the vast majority of senior citizens. (A free copy of the 21 page NTUF Policy Paper No. 6 on can be obtained by writing National Taxpayer's Union, 108 N. Alfred ST, Alexandria, VA 22314)
**National Debt: $5,000,000,000,000
**That's $19,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S.
**That's enough to buy every car sold in the U.S. back to the Model T's, with enough left over to buy every airline ticket ever sold for travel in the U.S.! (source: National Taxpayer's Union)
**The net tax rate for future generations will be about 70%, based on projections of current tax and transfer plans, (estimate by Boston University economist LaurenceKotlikoff, using government data. Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol 8, no. l,pp 73-94)
Publications of Interest...
The Cato Institute, Washington, D. C. has a project under way on Social Security Privatization. They have published two papers so far (we suggest that young Americans be allowed to opt out of Social Security 1995 Cato publications of interest
1. Policy Analysis 220: "More Than a Theory: Medical Savings Accounts at Work"
2. Policy Analysis 228: "Medical Savings Accounts: Answering the Critics"
3. Policy Analysis 224: "SSI: The Black Hole of the Welfare State"
(We propose that the Supplemental Security Income Program be removed from Social Security and reconsidered on its own merits). Policy Analysis copies can be obtained by sending $4.00 per copy to:
What can you do to help?
1. Call and write your Senators and Congressman:
The Hon. Joseph Biden, Jr.
*6021 Federal Building (302)573-6345
Wilmington, DE 19801
"United States Senate (202)224-5042
Washington, D. C, 20515-0001
The Hon. William Roth, Jr.
*3021 Federal Building (304) 573-6291
Wilmington, DE 19801
*United States Senate
Washington, D. C. 20515-0001
2. Write to the News Journal at;
Editors, The News Journal P.O. Box 15505 Wilmington, DE 19850
(Under 200 words probably won't be edited. Legible handwriting is OK. Include address & telephone number. Allow two months between letters)
3. Call a talk show.
WDEL 1150 9-11 AM & 12-1 pm
478-2700 WILM 1450 10-12 AM & 7pm 656-9800 :';
4. Join S. A. F. E. as a member and/or volunteer. See forms included.
Give them photocopies of the 1996 statement and any other part of this newsletter. If they support our goals, give us their addresses & phone number 6. Give us your ideas about how we can most effectively achieve our goals, call 475-7060.
Seniors Against Federal Extravagance
STATEMENT MARCH, 1996,
As senior citizens, we are very concerned about the growth of the federal government, and the huge debt being left for our children and grandchildren to pay. We believe this country is risking a financial disaster which will hurt everyone, including senior citizens. It is as if we are floating down a river and can hear a waterfall ahead. It is time to pull for the shore now.
The problem is big government, and the solution is to actually decrease the size of the government. Slowing down the growth of the government is not enough. The AARP is part of the problem - the Washington, D. C. Office has consistently pushed for more government spending, and not just for senior citizens. The AARP has been an advocate of burdening the Social Security System with benefits for those who are not senior citizens. The AARP has huge cash reserves, yet it receives government grants of about $80 million per year. The AARP local chapters serve a useful function for a small percentage of AARP members, and perform useful community services. However, the AARP is a top-down organization. We believe their legislative agenda is a disaster for this country, and runs counter to the desires of a vast majority of senior citizens. We want to protect against a financial disaster and we want to be fair to the next generations. We want to row the boat to shore before we reach the waterfall. This will require changes that are not even being considered by Congress at this time. We don't want any sacred cows - not even Social Security. Our situation is serious, and we must be willing to solve our problems, even at some discomfort, to avert much greater discomfort later.
Social Security was meant to provide income for senior citizens, but has been loaded with other programs. We propose that all the other programs be removed from Social Security and reconsidered on their own merits. In fairness to the next generations, we suggest that younger Americans be allowed to opt out of Social Security and invest in their own retirement. Thoseinvestments will strengthen the economy and benefit everyone.
Also, in fairness to younger Americans, we propose that total government spending at all levels be decreased each year. Here are some specific suggestions for the federal government:
Welfare spending goes mostly to bureaucrats. The system needs to be changed to cut administrative costs in half.
Health care costs can be cut by giving individuals the same tax treatment that corporations now get. When individuals pay for their own health care, costs will come down. We strongly oppose the big government socialized medicine approach that the AARP Washington, D. C., office supports.
We have allowed the huge government debt to accumulate and we are honor bound to tighten our belts and start paying it off, rather than leaving it to the next generations.
Please make your check out to:
and mail it to:
Additional contribution: __________
|Address ___________________________________________ phone H: _________________|
|County _______________ City _____________________ State ____________ Zip _____________|
|I would like to help with telephoning __; mailings __; office work __; or, I have other|
|experience/skills that might be useful to SAFE:______________________________________|
|Comments on the 1996 Statement: ________________________________________________|
|Spending I want cut: ___________________________________________________________|
|Spending I don't want cut: _______________________________________________________|