Illinoisans Putting Concerns on the Map For Congressional "Supercommittee"

Sep 21, 2011, 11:00 ET from AARP Illinois

AARP Using Online Tool to Raise the Voices of Illinoisans and Encourage No Cuts to Earned Benefits

CHICAGO, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Congressional "supercommittee" has been charged with the task of finding ways to reduce the federal deficit.  While Illinois may not have any Congressional delegates serving on the committee, AARP is working to ensure that the voices of Illinois residents are not left out.

The Association has launched a new online tool encouraging its members and the public in Illinois and across the nation to sign on to a letter to the committee.  The message is simple: No cuts to Social Security and Medicare as part of a deal to reduce the federal deficit.  Instead of cutting these hard-earned benefits, Congress should focus on cutting waste and fraud and closing tax loopholes.  When someone takes action, they are added to a map of the nation, showing Congress the widespread opposition to cutting Social Security and Medicare.    

"Illinoisans are sending a strong message, loud and clear, to members of the supercommittee," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director.  "Congress simply cannot balance our nation's budget on the backs of those who rely on Social Security and Medicare."

The effort was launched following the release of two new AARP reports showing that 50% of people over the age of 65 in Illinois rely on Social Security for 50% or more of their entire family income.  Twenty percent of Illinoisans over the age of 65 rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their total family income.  Without Social Security, nearly 37% of Illinoisans over the age of 65 would be in poverty.

"Illinoisans are relying on the members of the supercommittee to protect Social Security and Medicare," added Gallo.  "Many Illinoisans are already struggling to get by as prices continue to increase for basic necessities like food and utilities and retirement accounts and home values continue to dwindle.  Congress simply cannot add to this burden."  

To view the map of those opposed to benefit cuts and the letter to members of the supercommittee, visit

To access AARP's newest reports on Social Security, visit