AARP Urges Senator Crapo to Back Off Social Security Cuts

Dec 02, 2010, 16:00 ET from AARP Idaho

Assoc. Delivers Nearly 2,000 Constituent Petitions to Sen. Crapo, Urging a NO Vote on Deficit Commission Plan Tomorrow

BOISE, Idaho, Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the President's Deficit Commission readying to vote tomorrow on proposals aimed at tackling the nation's deficit, AARP sent a strong message to Idaho's own member of the Commission, Senator Mike Crapo, today: Back off Social Security Cuts.  State and national AARP leaders gathered to hand deliver nearly 2,000 petitions from constituents to the Senator's district office in Boise urging him to vote against the Commission's proposals which call for harsh cuts to Social Security.

"Cuts to Social Security are wrong for Idaho and wrong for America – we're urging Senator Crapo to do what's right and reject the Commission's proposals," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho. "Supporting these proposals isn't just a failure to the 260,000 Idahoans who are receiving Social Security today; it's a failure to all the current workers paying into the system for tomorrow."  

Social Security cuts, as the Commission's current proposals call for; will have a particularly harsh effect in Idaho, which has one of the lowest retiree incomes in the nation.  According to an AARP survey conducted last year, 97% of Idahoans 65+ said Social Security was important to their household budgets.   (The full survey can be found here:  Social Security didn't contribute to the deficit and AARP firmly opposes the proposals which use the program to solve a problem it didn't create, weakening the benefit.  

In Idaho, roughly 17% of all state residents receive Social Security, with an average monthly benefit of a modest $1,045.  The benefit keeps 35.7% of the state's 65+ out of poverty, making up 50% of income for over half of older Idahoans, and 90% of income for 25%.  

"Older Americans care about the deficit – but smart fiscal policy should increase economic security, not weaken it as these proposals do," added Wordelman.  "We're calling on Senator Crapo to take a stand, reject these proposals and work to strengthen Social Security for our children and grandchildren.

AARP also stands in strong opposition to proposals shifting costs onto the elderly in Medicare, resulting in a tax on the sick.  In Idaho, 15% (230,000) of residents receive health care through Medicare.

AARP is Idaho's largest membership organization with over 180,000 members.

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