RetireSafe.org is a project of the Council for Government Reform (formerly the National Center for Privatization). It describes itself as "a grassroots action network promoting dynamic, pro-growth solutions to America's retirement security challenges." Its goal is seeking "retirement security through policies that encourage economic growth, wealth creation, and individual choice and control."
RetireSafe lists the following as the issues they address:
- Social Security - "Personal Retirement Accounts allowing individual choice, control and ownership"
- Health Security - "Free market Medicare including prescription drug coverage" and "Medical Savings Accounts"
- Savings Security - "Expanded 401(k)s and IRAs"; "Permanent Death Tax repeal"; "Ending the double taxation of dividends"; "Reducing capital gains taxes"
In September 2004, RetireSafe.org launched its "Medicare Extension Campaign." The campaign, carried out by the DCI Group, asked seniors, their families and healthcare workers "to send letters to their congressman and senators thanking them for supporting the Medicare benefit, or asking for that support in the future." An email from DCI added, "We have help available to write letters if the signer is not comfortable drafting the letter entirely on their own."
As part of the RetireSafe.org campaign, DCI "is offering healthcare consultants $3,750 plus expenses over six weeks to generate positive news stories about the drug card and offer support to Congress for voting for the Medicare drug law." The Hill reported, "Some Democrats doubted whether RetireSafe has the resources to launch such an expensive effort and suggested that the pharmaceutical industry was behind it," especially since the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is another DCI client.
In a story about the Medicare drug card program, RetireSafe vice-president Michelle Plasari was quoted as saying, "We're a nonpartisan group, but I think President Bush should get credit for this. This program is helping many seniors save money on their drug costs."
RetireSafe is also listed as a sponsor of Bob Dole on Medicare, an educational effort headed by former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole.
On April 15, 2003, RetireSafe joined influential GOP lobbyist Grover Norquist's organization, Americans for Tax Reform, at their National Taxpayer Rally and press conference in Washington DC. Other participating groups included such conservative mainstays as the National Taxpayers Union, the industry-funded Citizens Against Government Waste, the Heritage Foundation think tank, the libertarian Cato Institute think tank, the American Conservative Union, the pharmaceutical front group 60 Plus Association, the conservative, pro-industry United Seniors Association, and the conservative think tank Frontiers of Freedom, among others, according to the ATR press release announcing the event.
In a January 23, 2002 "open letter" to the U.S. Senate, RetireSafe president Charles Hardin urged Senators "not to co-sponsor or vote for the irresponsible Medicare prescription drug bill submitted by Senator Daschle, S.7." The headline of the web page with the letter says, "Oppose S.7, Daschle's Vision of Hillary Care!"
RetireSafe also commended the drug company GlaxoSmithKline for its "courageous stance in favor of protecting older Americans from the dangerous and illegally re-imported pharmaceuticals coming across the border from Canada."
RetireSafe also worked with the drug company Pfizer to co-sponsor the "Bob Dole on Medicare" effort described above.
- Charles Hardin, President
- Michelle Plasari, Director of Communications and Vice-President
- Al Cors, Director of Government Affairs
1900 Campus Commons Drive, Suite 100
Reston, VA 20191
Email: info AT retiresafe.org
Related SourceWatch articles
- Council for Government Reform
- DCI Group
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
- Bob Cusack, "Want to earn quick $4K? See GOP firm," The Hill, September 22, 2004.
- Charles G. Hardin, Testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, March 4, 2003. "I testify today in support of President Bush's jobs and growth tax package, focusing especially on the elements affecting savings in general and retirement security in particular."