AARP Eye Center
Mr. Schurenberg's editorial " Social Security in 2015: Red Ink Returns for Good" on TheFiscalTimes.com misses the point entirely about the importance of Social Security for 53 million Americans today and for future generations who are counting on the benefits for a secure retirement. While we agree that Social Security has long-term financial challenges, the author dismisses the undeniable and increasingly important human impact of Social Security. In our recent poll, over three in four adults age 18+ rely on or plan to rely on Social Security for their retirement income, including a large majority (62%) of younger adults age 18-29. Hard working Americans have a stake in the future of Social Security, and expect that promised benefits will be paid to them when needed.
It is important to remember that Social Security is not only a program for older Americans, but for all working Americans. The disability and survivor benefits that Social Security provides for 11 million Americans under the age of 62 today keep people out of poverty and help families endure.
If the author doubts how important Social Security is to Americans - or where Congress will get the backbone for protecting the program, over eight in ten Americans 18+ believe the government made a commitment to Americans about Social Security being there for them when they retire, and that the government cannot break its promise. In addition, 57% of adults under age 50 would prefer to pay more into Social Security so they can get the same level of benefits provided today as opposed to keeping payroll tax rates at current levels in exchange for lower benefits. What Americans of all ages do not support is cutting Social Security to reduce the federal deficit, with 72% strongly opposed to that idea.
Keeping Social Security strong is not and should not be a partisan issue--it is one of the few issues that Democratic, Republican and Independent Americans agree on. Despite the editorial's prediction that intergenerational conflict may occur, Americans of all ages strongly support Social Security, including 90% of younger adults agreeing that it is an important program. We must make good on the Social Security promise for the most important reason -- it provides a measure of financial security to all Americans. With inadequate savings, diminishing pensions, and unstable home values - Social Security is the one guaranteed benefit that older Americans --both now and in the future -- can count on.