AARP Rhode Island to Visiting Presidential Candidates:
Tell Us Where You Stand on Social Security
(PROVIDENCE, April 21, 2016) As Rhode Islanders anticipate visits by as many as three presidentials candidate prior to the April 26 primary, AARP Rhode today called on contenders to choose the Ocean State as a place to better detail their plan for on updating Social Security.
“This should be one of the campaign’s most talked about issues, said State Director Kathleen Connell. “Clearly it’s not, but in light of the state’s disproportionate older demographic this is the place to deliver the message. Social Security is important in Rhode Islander because unless our leaders act, future retirees could see benefits cuts of up to $10,000 per year.
“Social Security helps keep thousands of Rhode Islanders in the middle class and lifts more than 60,000 from living in poverty. We know that a third of these recipients say they rely entirely on Social Security to meet expenses,” Connell added.
It is not just retirees who should pressure candidates to present specific plans, said AARP State President Alan B. Neville. “We have to remember that more than 600,000 workers in Rhode Island are paying into Social Security. They, also, are looking for clear positions on updating the program and having some confidence that they’ll receive the benefits they’ve earned and deserved.”
Since first created 80 years ago, Social Security hasn’t kept up. For starters, the average 65 year old is living 7 years longer than in the 1930’s. Social Security did not account for longer lifespans. And with smaller families, fewer people are paying into Social Security.
AARP volunteers and members have joined others around the country speaking out via AARP’s Take a Stand campaign. Throughout the primaries, they continue to press for answers.
AARP also is urging the media to probe deeper on Social Security.
Throughout a campaign season that has seen candidates dominate the spotlight by trading insults and raising accusations of lying, cheating, and who’s not qualified to be president – while telling voters little about how they will lead on critical issues.
All but one of the current candidates – Donald Trump – has offered a plan to be posted on the Take a Stand web site ( www.2016TakeAStand.org).
“Each candidate for President needs to offer a substantive plan to update Social Security so it is financially sound and provides adequate retirement income,” Connell said.
“This means more than a promise to ‘fix’ or ‘protect’ Social Security. Anyone seeking the presidency needs to be outlining details of his or her plan on the stump and in the debates so that voters can decide who is best to successfully lead on this critical issue.”