Statement by 60 Plus Association Chairman Jim Martin

I speak on behalf of over 7 million senior citizen activists who I believe are sighing in relief with Paul Ryan’s selection as Governor Romney’s choice for Vice President.

First and foremost, Paul Ryan has put forth a bipartisan plan to save entitlements that senior citizens have paid into all their working lives and while both entitlements are on shaky financial ground, especially Medicare, and while some ignore the approaching insolvency, Paul Ryan put forth a plan to save Medicare.  Future generations (our children and grandchildren) can now look forward to reaping the benefits.

And before the demagoguery begins, let me warn politicians.  Scaring the elderly with old ladies in wheelchairs thrown off cliffs is reprehensible. It’s in the DNA of one party in order to garner votes. Shameless! Seniors deserve better.

Speaking of Granny over the cliff, (sound familiar?  I’m not referring to Granny over the cliff in 2012 but way back in 1996)! I recall a Washington Post editorial in 1996 that took to task Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo), the Democratic leader in the House, for Gephardt’s charge that a Republican proposal to reform Medicare would essentially “end Medicare as we know it.”

When Minority Leader Gephardt wrote a letter and repeated that Republicans would cut Medicare, the Post printed it, but ran another editorial and said, “That’s bullfeathers, and Mr. Gephardt knows it.” The Post praised the Republican plan to save Medicare from bankruptcy, saying it is “credible, and it addresses a problem that is only going to get worse.” And the Post again chastised the attacks: “What the Democrats have instead is a lot of TV ads and scare talk.” (emphasis added).  This was the liberal Washington Post, not the conservative Washington Times!

The Post concluded: “The Democrats have fabricated the Medicare-tax cut for the rich connection. It is useful for them politically. It allows them to attack and to duck responsibility, both at the same time. We think it’s wrong.” (emphasis added). It’s a pity that politicians are using seniors as political pawns. It’s time to stop scaring seniors with these irresponsible ads.

They’re so outrageous and reprehensible that syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington has written (in 1996): ‘The Democratic demagoguery on Medicare is one of the most irresponsible acts in American campaign history.’

Each and every session of Congress, Rep. Ryan has earned our Association’s highest honor, the Guardian of Seniors Rights award for his pro-senior votes.

Seniors should again sigh in relief with the words of both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney. The Governor emphasized ‘we will preserve Medicare and Social Security.’  And Rep. Ryan said, in part: ‘We won’t duck the tough issues. We will lead.’

Besides the entitlements so near and dear to seniors, we are also concerned with out of control spending. Seniors have to live within their means. Our government should too.

A President Romney and a Vice President Ryan offer hope and a clear plan for America’s financial future.