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Presidential Candidates Asked to Address Social Security

Advocates for seniors in Minnesota are hoping the presidential candidates will lay out their plans for Social Security during Sunday night's debate. (aarp.org)
Advocates for seniors in Minnesota are hoping the presidential candidates will lay out their plans for Social Security during Sunday night's debate. (aarp.org)
October 7, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS – While there was a lot of jabbing and 'gotcha' moments during the last presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, there wasn't a whole lot of substance on some issues.

Seth Boffeli, spokesman for AARP Minnesota, said Americans are watching the candidates closely and want clarity on issues such as Social Security.

"One hundred seventy million Americans rely on this program," he said. "I think we really want to hear from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their own words what they would do to preserve and protect the future of Social Security."

Boffeli said because this debate is town-hall style, citizens will be able to ask questions and he thinks that will keep the candidates focused on issues important to Americans.

The debate is being held Sunday night at 8 P.M. Central time at Washington University in St. Louis.

Boffeli said Minnesotans have a huge stake in what happens to Social Security because the "three-legged stool" that is supposed to comprise a person's retirement – Social Security, pension and personal savings – isn't quite measuring up.

"When we look at the labor force in Minnesota, 40 percent of the people who are working don't even have a retirement savings plan that they can invest their own money into that's offered through their employer," he explained. "So, that three-legged stool is really becoming a one-legged stool, and that one leg is Social Security."

Boffeli said more than 900,000 Minnesotans rely on Social Security to survive.

"Without Social Security, we'd see about 46 percent of our state seniors would be below the poverty line," he added. "It allows people to have a standard of living and retirement that we all save and plan for, and without it, that's not achievable."

Minnesotans can submit questions or vote on questions to ask the candidates during the debate by visiting PresidentialOpenQuestions.com.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MN