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Nebraska's economy could lose billions if no action taken on Social Security

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AARP has released a new analysis showing Nebraska’s economy is at risk of losing $2 billion and 12,672  jobs if no action is taken by future Presidents and Congress to update Social Security for future generations.

According to the Social Security Trustees’ report, Social Security benefits could be cut by nearly 25 percent after 2034 if no action is taken. Such an across-the-board cut represents a looming threat to Nebraska’s economy.  Yet the presidential candidates rarely talk about Social Security on the campaign trail and, thus far, haven’t talked about Social Security’s role in strengthening our economy and creating jobs.

“We pay into Social Security and we deserve to know if the presidential candidates understand the important role our benefits play in creating jobs and stimulating our economy,” said AARP State Director Connie Benjamin. “It’s a basic test of leadership for the candidates to give us the details of their plan for Social Security and how it will affect our families and our economy.”

Social Security does more than provide crucial income for millions of Americans who receive benefits. The money boosts the entire economy -- creating jobs, increasing sales and stirring business activity. When people buy goods and services with their benefits they kick-start a whole chain of economic activity. Their purchases ignite more buying and selling that flow down from business to business, each providing another with goods and services that help fulfill the initial purchases.

Based on data for current seniors, we can extrapolate what could be at stake for future generations.  Today, Social Security pays out $4.9 billion in benefits to Nebraska residents.  Cutting that amount by 25 percent translates to $1.2 billion less in the pockets of Nebraska residents.  That loss of $1.2 billion in benefits could mean $2 billion less in economic activity and 12, 672 fewer jobs.

“The last thing we need is greater economic insecurity in our state,” Benjamin said. “The sooner Congress acts, the more time our state’s economy will have to adjust to the changes.”

AARP’s Take A Stand campaign is pressing the presidential candidates to commit to keeping Social Security strong.

For more information on the economic impact of Social Security and where the candidates stand on the future of the program, go to 2016takeastand.org

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