“If Republicans are smart (and the book is still open on this), they’ll do everything they can over the next two years to entice Democrats to attack the GOP’s Social Security reform ideas,” says Hugh C. Newton, a veteran Washington communications executive, and a political consultant to many conservative policy groups including the 60 Plus Association, a grassroots senior citizens’ lobby and BAMPAC, Black America’s Political Action Committee.
“Enemies of Medicare modernization are just as adept at psychological warfare as the U.S. military — maybe even more so, since they have more actual field experience. If there was some good reason, beyond nostalgia, for preventing reform of the creaking health-care system for America’s seniors, their behavior might be understandable. But Medicare is a financial catastrophe and human tragedy in the making,” says 60 Plus Association President, Jim Martin.
Just over 25 years ago, when my 86-year-old mother was a sprightly 61, and working full time, Jimmy Carter called for the elimination of federal taxes on dividend income, as President Bush has just done. That was long before the great surge in stock ownership spawned by several Reagan-era tax changes, which enabled millions of Americans to set aside money for their senior years in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k) investment plans. So President Bush’s proposal to end the double taxation on dividends should be welcome news to all of the estimated 84 million Americans who own stock, either directly or in retirement accounts. If they have children or stay-at-home or retired spouses, it should be good news to them as well. As a group, senior citizens should be the most thankful of all.