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Coloradans 50+ Worried About the Future

March 7, 2011

DENVER - Colorado seniors - like other Americans over age 50 - are worried about the future, and they're willing to pay more taxes to ensure basic social services. Those are among findings of a new survey sponsored by AARP.

The study also found that seven in 10 Coloradans think it's very important for the state to maintain current state funding for services such as education, transportation and roads, parks and aid to local communities.

The findings are striking, says Angela Cortez, associate state director of communications for AARP Colorado, considering the current calls by lawmakers for smaller government.

"I was pretty surprised by the high levels supporting things like that. And our 50-plus Colorado population also has some ideas about how to keep those services going."

According to the survey, more than half of Coloradans support revenue increases, including higher taxes for people making more than $250,000 annually, more "sin" taxes on liquor and cigarettes, and closing tax loopholes for businesses.

At the national level, the support for tax increases to preserve funding for government programs was even stronger, with 70 percent of Americans in favor of paying more taxes to keep important services.

AARP Senior Vice President Cheryl Matheis points out that the current budget battles may be ignoring the opinions of the majority of Americans.

"People are concerned about making certain that there is a social fabric maintained, and they are willing to pay their part."

Matheis says the survey is especially valuable because many younger AARP members know firsthand the struggles people of every generation face.

"Half of them are still in the work force. A 50-year-old might have an elementary school student at home and a parent on Medicare. Their concerns really span the whole life cycle."

The full report, "Voices of 50-Plus America," can be found at www.aarp.org.


Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO