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AARP: Don’t Target Social Security for Benefit Cuts


June 23, 2010

Contact: AARP Media Relations,, (202) 434-2560


AARP: Don’t Target Social Security for Benefit Cuts

Organization Calls on Elected Officials to Focus on Real People, Not Budget Numbers


WASHINGTON – As Congress turns its attention from health care to economic issues, there is a greater focus on the nation’s deficit and the future of Social Security.  On June 26, several cities across the nation will hold conversations about the federal budget and the choices that should be made to reduce the nation’s deficit.  Social Security will be one of the topics addressed, and AARP is using this opportunity to remind Americans that the program did not contribute to the deficit and of the important role that Social Security plays in the financial and retirement security of millions of Americans. 

AARP Executive Vice President John Rother offered the following statement:

 “Our nation’s deficit will undermine the economic security of future generations if left unaddressed.  However, we believe any proposed changes to programs or the tax code must look at the impact on real people, not just on projected budget numbers.  For example, some in Washington want to reduce the deficit by cutting Social Security benefits.  But Social Security is itself vital to the economic security of most Americans today and future generations, and it hasn’t contributed a single dime to the current deficit.  So weakening Social Security would hurt our children and grandchildren – the very people we need to protect.

“Today, nearly 53 million Americans of all ages receive Social Security benefits, and for over half of older Americans, Social Security is their principal source of family income.  Social Security also provides vital disability and life insurance protections for American workers and their families.  Benefits are modest, averaging only $14,000 for retirees.  The program provides a secure foundation for retirement income with guaranteed inflation-protected lifetime benefits they can count on every month.

“Social Security is financed separately from the rest of government with payroll contributions Americans make over their working lives.  It has built up a very substantial trust fund so there is time to make gradual adjustments to improve its finances over the long run.  Any effort to change Social Security should focus on strengthening the program so that future generations will be able to continue to count on their earned benefits, and so that all Americans can enjoy a measure of future economic security. “

AARP encourages a national dialogue and action to bolster retirement security for all Americans, including strengthening the Social Security program and creating more opportunities to save in the workplace.


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About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


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