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Social Security 75-Year Milestone Saturday

August 13, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Saturday marks the 75th anniversary of Social Security. It's a program that was created during the depths of the Great Depression, when most older Americans were struggling with poverty. Since then, it's been credited for keeping millions of Americans out of poverty, including seniors, people with disabilities, widows and children.

Gerardo Cardenas, with AARP Illinois says a recent survey found 75 percent of Americans looking forward to Social Security.

"We're not just talking about the seniors, but three-in-four adults ages 18 and older rely, or plan to rely, on Social Security for their retirement income."

Cardenas says a vast majority also oppose cutting Social Security, which some have promoted as a way to make a dent in the federal deficit. But, cutting Social Security is not an option, according to those surveyed.

"And about 85 percent oppose the reduction of benefits."

At the state fair in Springfield this year, AARP representatives will be talking to Illinois residents about why they believe the deficit reduction commission in Congress should not target Social Security, says Cardenas.

"Social Security does not contribute one dime to the deficit. It's our own money that we put towards our retirement, and it's there for us. We believe it needs to continue being there and that's the message we're sending to Washington."

Another benefit of the program most people don't realize, he adds, is that the checks add about $600 million a month to the state's economy.

The recent AARP survey is online at

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - IL