Medicare will turn 56 on July 30, and Social Security has its 86th anniversary on Aug. 14. And a recent AARP survey shows you want them to be around for many, many more celebrations. In fact, 85 percent of Americans 50 and older oppose cutting these vital programs to reduce the budget deficit.
There is no political divide on this question. Republicans and Democrats feel almost exactly the same.
Americans overwhelmingly believe they have earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits after years of working and paying taxes for them.
The programs are a critical lifeline for myriad Americans. Social Security is the main source of income for more than 34 million older households. For many, it is nearly all their income. And of the 62 million people covered by Medicare, half have incomes of less than $27,000.
Because the benefits people receive from these programs are vital, older Americans expect Congress to protect and strengthen them for today and tomorrow.
Yet a bipartisan bill was recently introduced in Congress that could put these benefits at risk. The Time to Rescue United States Trusts (TRUST) Act would set up groups of a dozen lawmakers with the power to recommend cuts to the programs.