A recent mailing from Rep. Bruce Poliquin stated he was honored to receive the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award for 2018 — a selective award for those who vote to protect Medicare and Social Security.

This award is from the 60-Plus Association — an organization founded 1992. Its stated purpose is to promote solutions to seniors’ issues that are grounded in free markets, less government and less taxes. It is called the conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons. The organization is known for its advocacy for the privatization of Social Security and senior citizen health programs, as well as its opposition to the estate tax (death tax). The organization has major funding from Charles and David Koch.

When Poliquin was Maine State Treasurer, he “protected and saved” the Maine State Retirement System by supporting efforts to raise the retirement age for current teachers, freezing cost of living increases for current retirees, and changing the rules on cost-of-living promises made to retirees, resulting in the loss of hundreds of dollars per year for retirees. He did not respect or uphold the promises made to retirees.

Rep. Poliquin’s actions speak louder than his award. That kind of “protection and saving” is exactly what Social Security and Medicare do not need.

People should beware of politicians’ wonderful words. They should be required to show a detailed plan for what they will do to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Great words can still do great harm.

Crystal Ward, Lewiston

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