Renewing Our Determination to Update Social Security

People in Washington may hem and haw about Social Security being the third rail of politics. But people outside of Washington want to get something done.

That’s why we traveled to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where we had many conversations about Social Security with delegates, elected officials and political operatives over the last few days.

And AARP’s Take a Stand campaign left Cleveland with renewed determination to make updating Social Security a bigger part of the presidential debate.

Now, if you watched the convention on television, you know that the political spotlight was not on Social Security — and that’s putting it mildly.

But even as the media focused on other issues, many people I spoke with in and around the Cleveland Convention Center agreed on the need to deal with Social Security. Rank-and-file politicians and staffers understand the program’s importance, and they want to make sure it sticks around for future generations.

Take a Stand on Social Security — Push Candidates to Have a Plan »

A delegate from Iowa told me how critical it is for AARP to stay focused on Social Security and to continue to show leadership. We made plans to talk again about Social Security in the near future.

And that was just one conversation out of many.

Do I wish Social Security were getting more attention in the 2016 presidential campaign? Of course. In this political season, championing the cause of updating Social Security is not for the faint of heart.

But AARP’s Take a Stand campaign is committed.

In Cleveland, we made a concerted effort to remind folks that it is essential for the next president to deal with Social Security, and that AARP views this as a test of presidential leadership.

And our efforts will continue at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and for the rest of the 2016 campaign.

Social Security Benefits Calculator: When Should You Claim Yours? »

If political leaders fail to act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year. All beneficiaries could face a nearly 25 percent cut in their benefits.

AARP’s message is simple: Social Security must be dealt with for the benefit of future generations. The time has come for our nation to take on the challenge. Voters deserve real answers from the presidential candidates.

But I want to be candid: Our success in elevating this issue will depend in large part on getting voters engaged — voters like you.

If you would like to join the effort to update Social Security, please click on

Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Also of Interest

See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.