To The Editor:
American voters need and deserve to know more about how the presidential candidates would strengthen Social Security – perhaps the most significant pocketbook issue in the 2016 election. But we didn’t hear a word about it during the first debate at Hofstra University.
Without action, Social Security benefits will be cut by nearly 25 percent across the board in 2034, affecting the vast majority of the 170 million Americans—10 million New Yorkers—currently paying into the system with every paycheck. If these benefits are cut, the average annual family income of retirees would plunge, with some seeing their benefits cut as much as $10,000. The poverty rate of older New Yorkers would skyrocket.
The cuts would force households to make painful choices about what to do without – at a time when the cost of necessities like food and prescription drugs continues to rise. A significant number of New Yorkers rely on this income to get by, and the impact on the local economy is tremendous. There are over 325,000 social security recipients in Queens alone, and they spend most of their combined nearly $4.7 billion in annual benefits locally.
Social Security is the top economic concern for the majority of AARP members in New York. But this issue is not only important for the 50-plus population, it’s critical to secure the futures of today’s Millennials and Gen Xers.
That’s why AARP is engaged in a nationwide “Take a Stand” campaign urging the presidential candidates to fully explain their plans to update Social Security and urging candidates for Congress to commit to working toward a solution. A new presidential administration and a new Congress next year provide the perfect opportunity for action.
State Director, AARP NY