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Elections 101

National issues like Social Security and local issues like whether your town’s Senior Center survives will be decided by those we elect this coming November. Asking our decision makers about their positions before the election allows us to be better informed when we vote.

Amid rising concern in Congress about our national deficit spending some seek to scale back the Social Security and/or Medicare benefits for which we have contributed throughout our working lives. AARP opposes balancing the national budget on the backs of Social Security and Medicare as this does not spread the “pain” among all age groups fairly.

On the state front, a decline in the economy has lead to greatly decreased state revenues, and thus our Ocean State General Assembly must find ways to either cut state spending, or raise taxes, or a combination of the two, to help balance the state budget. The State has already cut payments to our cities and towns, leaving them choice in raising revenue other than raising property taxes.

Many groups will ask candidates in the coming election what they will do to protect their interests. It is important candidates hear from older voters about their concerns.

Here are some questions you should think about when attending a political forum:

Federal Candidates

  • If elected, what will you do to ensure that we get all the Social Security and Medicare benefits for which we have paid throughout our working years?
  • If elected, will you help Americans save for retirement by supporting a plan that would allow individuals whose employers don’t provide a retirement plan to automatically enroll in a retirement savings account, such as an Individual Retirement Account?

State and Local Candidates

  • If elected, what will you do to ensure our state services which help older people remain in their homes are not cut?
  • Senior Centers give older people a place to go where they get information on programs and services, and socialize with others our age. If elected, what priority will you give to maintaining our senior services and programs?
  • If elected, how will you maintain senior services yet not increase our property taxes?

Watch this webpage for updated AARP candidate questionnaires, information on elections, candidates and debate schedules.

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