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Get ready for the attack of GOP front groups all across America since we are now entering the 2012 general election cycle. All Hail Citizens United!. Even though Rep. Paul Ryan wants to turn medicare into a "coupon" system so seniors at 82 years old can go shopping for their health care, this Republican shill operation is scaring grandma already as the Republican primaries begin. Who are the 60-Plus Association? Well, they spent over a total of $7,070,941 on independent campaigning through October 2010, with 100% benefiting Republican candidate
In its 2008 annual return to the IRS, 60 Plus states that it "protects the rights of senior citizens through educating and informing them on consumer affairs and financial welfare. The association monitors federal laws affecting senior citizens and makes their views known to decision makers within federal government. Also, the association, through seminars, meetings, newsletters, mailgrams, petitions and letters to its supporters, encourages senior citizens to become involved in taking legislative action by expressing their views on various issues to members of Congress.
60/Plus supporters furthermore exercise their First Amendment rights in various manner by petitioning their government on various issue affecting their economic and social well-being. 60/Plus sponsors seminars, meetings and press conferences with radio, newspaper and television interviewers in Washington D,C and other locations throughout the United States to promote is message of tax fairness to seniors.
However, a February, 2003 report in the AARP Bulletin called 60 Plus a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. The author, Bill Hogan, wrote that 60 Plus, along with Senior Coalition and United Seniors Association, "claim to speak for millions of older Americans, although as recently as 2001 none of the three listed any revenue from membership dues on their tax returns." The article added: "virtually all of their largest contributions in recent years have come from the same source -- the nation's pharmaceutical industry."
60 Plus president James L. Martin claims to have given then-"Texas Gov. George W. Bush his first political job ... way back in 1967."  Martin also "credits himself" with coming up with the phrase "death tax," as part of efforts to repeal the estate tax. 
In the wake of Citizens United, a thousand "60 Plus Associations" will be formed, with much more shadowy provenance than this.
Now here's the really fun part. Even though I've heard that Obama plans to "make the Republicans own" social security reform right along with him, there will be no ads like this against Republicans. That's because the president will have boisterously declared "Mission Accomplished" and even Democrats who voted against it (few as they will probably be since politically dangerous "bipartisan" legislation is passed with a huge number of Dems and a handful of Republicans) won't want to taint him with this bad message. And we know who these shadowy corporate front groups are really working for, don't we?
A word about why Paul Ryan failed to mention his own solutions for medicare and the deficit.
Ryan makes very deep cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The Social Security age would be raised under Ryan's plan, forcing people to either work longer or find some other way to pay the bills later in life. Ryan would completely do away with Medicare and replace with a voucher seniors would use to purchase private insurance. If an 80-year-old man's voucher was not sufficient to pay for a policy he would either have to make up the difference or simply go without insurance.
Finally, Ryan would do away with the current tax exclusion for health care benefits. In the future if an employer gave employees health insurance that insurance would be taxabe as "income" under Ryan's plan. Ryan would attempt to make up the difference by giving individuals a $2,300 voucher to purchase insurance, but with many individuals they would still end up paying more.
The effect of Ryan's plan on income groups are dramatic as illustrated below:
- The top 10% of income earners would pay less while the other 90% of Americans would pay more in taxes.
- The top 1% would pay 15% less in taxes, an average of $211,314 less.
- The bottom 80% of taxpayers would end up paying $1,700 more on average.
- The bottom 20% (the poorest Americans with the least money to spare) would end up paying 12.3% more under Ryan's plan.
With facts like these, it is easy to see why Ryan avoided the specifics of his plan to to balance the budget.
It's time for Democrats to make the case that Republicans really do want to hurt grandma so big business can reap bigger profits and at the expense of their well being. It's the sad truth.
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