MADISON, Wis. – Today, Billy Feitlinger, a leader and advocate for Wisconsin’s seniors, penned an op-ed in The Cap Times hitting Republican politicians for pushing an agenda that could sunset Social Security and Medicare in five years.
Read more about how the Republican agenda is a “slap in the face” to Wisconsin’s seniors:
The Cap Times: Opinion | Republican Plan Hurts Wisconsin Retirees
“For 11 years, I worked with the Wisconsin Alliance of Retired Americans (WIARA) a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging and protecting current and future retirees around the state of Wisconsin.
“During my tenure as its executive director, I represented hundreds of people who spent years serving our state as first responders, teachers, care workers, building and trades workers, and small business owners. Having the opportunity to meet these hard-working, genuine folks was the most rewarding job I’ve had in over 50 years of working. It’s through that work that I know firsthand how retirees like myself rely on federal programs like Social Security and Medicare, and it’s why I know it’s my responsibility to speak up when I see Republican politicians threatening to rip away those benefits.
“Republicans, led by Florida Sen. Rick Scott — head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee — recently proposed an agenda that would raise taxes on nearly half of Americans and almost one in three Wisconsin taxpayers. Their plan also includes provisions that will sunset all federal legislation after five years, including Social Security and Medicare — which jeopardizes the health care and benefits that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin seniors have spent years paying into.
“Our very own Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson was quick to praise the plan, arguing that Scott’s agenda was a “positive thing.” As someone who is now retired and has worked to represent Wisconsin retirees for over a decade, I can confidently say that this agenda would NOT be a good thing for our state. In fact, the plan put forth by Republican politicians would be a disaster for Wisconsin’s seniors and disabled workers.
“In Wisconsin, 1.2 million Wisconsinites receive Medicare and nearly 1.3 million receive Social Security benefits. These benefits allow seniors, disabled workers, widows and widowers and others to receive federal support that helps pay for everything from groceries, to doctor appointments, to rent. Threatening to take away these programs that so many hard-working people rely on is a slap in the face to the Wisconsinites who have spent years paying into them.
“While Republican politicians like Johnson push an agenda that would be immeasurably harmful to seniors, President Biden and Democrats are taking steps to give seniors, retirees and middle-class families a little more breathing room and a little less stress at the end of each month. Biden’s proposed budget for 2023 would strengthen Social Security and ease pressures on working families by asking the richest Americans to finally pay their fair share of taxes. Teachers and firefighters shouldn’t pay more in taxes than billionaires, and I’m glad that Biden is working on behalf of middle- and lower-income families to fix our clearly broken tax system.
“And while Democrats go to bat for working families, the Republican Party is running on a nonsensical agenda that would only harm seniors and retirees. I’ve spent the last decade advocating for Wisconsin’s seniors, and I know that they do not deserve and cannot afford Ron Johnson and Rick Scott’s agenda. Reelecting Johnson in 2022 and electing Republican politicians across the country would be a disaster for Wisconsin’s seniors. We cannot let that happen.”