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AARP Colorado, June 4, 2010
Most people would agree Social Security needs long-term changes so future generations can receive their entitled benefits. I agree with the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging report that Social Security is not in crisis, but with modest changes can ensure solvency and strengthen benefits for generations to come.
These benefits are critical to keeping millions out of poverty. Social Security, which is financed by money hard-working Americans contribute actually runs a surplus and has not contributed to our nation’s current deficit. Yet, it’s tapped to help reduce the deficit and that’s not fair.
Take Florida, for example, Social Security pumps $3.7 billion a month into its economy. Without it, half of Floridians age 65 or older would be plunged into poverty, devastating Florida businesses. Colorado’s economy would also be negatively impacted. Because half of all workers today have no pensions, Social Security will be even more important tomorrow.
For 75 years, Social Security has provided critical retirement and financial security for millions of older adults as well as children and those with disabilities. With the remaining retirement pillars—such as traditional pensions, personal savings and home values—crumbling, Social Security will play an even more important role in preserving the financial well-being of future generations.
Americans can ill afford the ‘social insecurity’ that would come from unfair benefit cuts or risky proposals,” said AARP CEO Barry Rand said in a recent statement. “Social Security is not in crisis, and AARP believes that Congress should strengthen the critical benefits of the program sooner rather than later to ensure adequacy, equity and solvency for years to come. We must accomplish these goals under the context of enhancing retirement security for today’s and tomorrow’s retirees, not under the framework of reducing a deficit that Social Security did not cause.
Social Security needs to be strengthened for future generations, but even with no changes, Social Security can pay out full benefits until 2037 and nearly three-quarters of promised benefits after that.
Yes, modest changes need to be made, but any cuts to Social Security would be devastating and are unacceptable.
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