Protesters to Congress: Hands off our SS, Medicare
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS A member of the rally holds a sign and American flag on Wednesday in the hopes of raising awareness of the proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Americans want the federal government to know that they will not stand for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
A handful of Carbon County residents gathered in front of the Carbon County Courthouse Annex in Jim Thorpe Wednesday morning to raise awareness of Congress' plan to make cuts to senior benefits.
The rally in Carbon, which was part of a nationwide event to try and change legislators' minds when it comes to proposed cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, was sponsored by Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation, Alliance for Retired Americans and the Carbon County Central Labor Chapter.
The theme of the rally was "Labor Stands Together."
Terry Whiteman, president of the Carbon County Central Labor Chapter, explained that the reason they were out picketing along Route 209 was to protest the proposed cuts made by the Republican party.
"We would like to see a more balanced approach," he said. "We think that if you are going to look at entitlements to cut, you should look at the loopholes and things for the rich so they don't get all the deductions. We just want a fair and balanced approach.
"They (Congress) kicked the ball down the road and that seems like the status quote," Whiteman continued. "Both sides need to get together, have to make hard choices, and have to move forward with this or we are just going to have this issue over and over and over again."
Linda Christman, a member of the Carbon County Central Labor Chapter, called Congress' plan "blackmail."
"I think it's just wrong that our Sen. (Patrick) Toomey is one of the leaders of this effort to blackmail Congress into making cuts into what he calls entitlements," she said. "It's not entitlements. People pay for Medicare and work for Social Security."
Adam Swope, Pennsylvania field organizer for the Alliance for Retired Americans, said that the alliance was supporting the efforts because "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are too important to be caught up in these budget battles."
He said that government should first look at creating jobs and getting the unemployment rate down before looking at cutting programs for seniors.
Others in attendance, including Marjorie Lux, Edie Lukasevich, and Nancy Mason, agreed.
Lukasevich said it's not right to be making these cuts.
Lux said she was there because she wanted to make sure that her children and grandchildren still have these programs.
Mason said, "We earned it. They didn't give it to us."