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A State Fair Celebration: 80th Anniversary of Social Security

S new poll shows strong support remains for Social Security among people of all ages and political affiliations. Credit: zimmytws.
S new poll shows strong support remains for Social Security among people of all ages and political affiliations. Credit: zimmytws.
August 14, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - Today marks the 80th anniversary of Social Security, and a new report finds strong support for the program among people of all ages and from all walks of life.

The survey from AARP showed that across generations and political affiliations, Social Security is considered one of the most important government programs. Kent Sovern, state director of AARP Iowa, said it remains a core part of retirement security for many people, including the roughly 20 percent of state residents who currently receive benefits.

"For many of those folks, they rely on Social Security for as much as 90 percent of their annual income," he said. "Financial independence is a key piece of being able to live independently in your home, connected to your neighbors and community."

AARP Iowa will hold a celebration of the 80th anniversary of Social Security today at the State Fair, with U.S. Rep. David Young and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, both R-Iowa. among those in attendance.

In addition to members of Iowa's Congressional delegation and other state and local leaders, this year's State Fair also will see visits by most of the 2016 presidential hopefuls. Sovern said AARP wants them all to explain in detail their plans for sustaining and strengthening Social Security for the next 80 years.

"We want each of the candidates - Republican, Democrat or no party - to speak in specific terms about what they would do to modernize the Social Security system and guarantee its financial viability," he said.

In addition to providing financial security for more than 600,000 Iowans, Sovern said, Social Security also provides an annual economic impact for the state of $13.5 billion.

AARP information is online at aarp.org. A schedule of presidential candidate "Soapbox Speeches" is at desmoinesregister.com. State Fair details are at iowastatefair.org. Social Security information is at ssa.gov.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA