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Petitions from Over 900,000 Americans to President's Fiscal Commission: Don't Cut Social Security to Reduce a Deficit it Did Not Cause

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2010
CONTACT:
AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202-434-2560

PETITIONS FROM OVER 900,000 AMERICANS TO PRESIDENT’S FISCAL COMMISSION: DON’T CUT SOCIAL SECURITY TO REDUCE A DEFICIT IT DID NOT CAUSE

Washington— Today, AARP delivered petitions from over 900,000 Americans urging the President’s deficit commission not to cut Social Security to reduce a deficit it did not cause.

These petitions restate the firm opposition of most Americans to cuts in Social Security for deficit reduction. AARP surveys have shown that for three out of four adults (76%), Social Security will continue to be a key component of retirement security for current as well as future generations.

“Social Security provides critical financial security for millions of Americans today. Our members and millions of Americans who receive Social Security are not only worried about the impact of potential cuts for themselves, but for the retirement of future generations as well,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President. “Cuts to Social Security may mean less security and a bleaker picture for them.”

AARP has been engaging Americans of all ages in activities around the country to demonstrate to lawmakers the importance of Social Security. The organization has hosted or been a part of nearly 450 events since the summer, reaching millions of Americans across the nation, including state fairs, community conversations, issue forums, and telephone town halls. In addition, the organization collected and delivered petitions to Congress that ask the President and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle not to target Social Security benefits for unfair cuts, and to keep Social Security strong.

Social Security is critical to the economic security of tens of millions of Americans, and our recent polling and analysis show that Americans will continue to rely on its benefits for a secure retirement. Given the decline in pensions, lack of access to workplace retirement accounts, and low savings rates, Social Security will continue to be the mainstay of retirement security for future generations.

AARP conducted a survey released in late October of registered voters age 40+ which showed that Social Security and jobs are the top two issues of personal importance, far ahead of the deficit, and that was true across ideology and gender. Overall, 75% are not confident that their children and grandchildren will have a secure retirement. In addition, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed across ideologies say Social Security is more important than ever for middle class Americans.

AARP calls on the President’s fiscal commission to focus on the impact of cuts on real people when proposing any changes to Social Security with the goal of achieving retirement security for all Americans.
“The talk around Washington these days on how to handle Social Security reflects a strong disconnect with the rest of the country,” said LeaMond. “Middle class Americans in particular view Social Security as the bedrock of their retirement security, and as the foundation for their children and grandchildren’s retirement.”
“Proposals that would ultimately change the nature of Social Security are not supported by most Americans. These petitions represent an overwhelming majority of Americans who want Social Security strengthened and protected, not cut to reduce a deficit it did not cause,” concluded LeaMond.

For more information, please visit www.aarp.org.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership 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 35.1 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.org. 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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