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New Study Highlights Social Security’s $16B Impact in CT

October 2, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. - The government shutdown is on, but that didn't stop local AARP volunteers from delivering new study results to local congressional offices, detailing Social Security's $16 billion impact on the state's economy.

The study should give lawmakers pause before they'd support tying cost-of-living increases to the Chained CPI, said Nora Duncan, director of AARP Connecticut. Chained CPI considers product substitutions made by consumers and other changes in their spending habits. The net impact, she said, would be smaller benefit checks and a reduction in the program's positive economic punch.

"Each dollar paid to Social Security beneficiaries in Connecticut generates nearly $2 in spending by individuals and businesses," she said, "adding about $16.3 billion in total economic output to the Connecticut economy."

The government shutdown made it somewhat challenging for the volunteers to contact all the local congressional offices, but they managed to deliver the study results to some of them - along with petitions signed by 45,000 local AARP members concerned about the future of Social Security.

Social Security benefits helped local workers find or keep more than 100,000 jobs in 2012, according to the report. Duncun said the sectors of Connecticut's economy that saw the greatest impact include food service, retail, health care and real estate.

"Everybody needs to feed themselves, we all need to shop for something; and we all have health-care expenses," she said, "especially those on Social Security."

Duncan said AARP funded the study to raise the level of debate in Washington beyond just budget-cutting - to include the $1 trillion-plus impact Social Security has on the nation's economy.

"The benefits are not being talked about anywhere in Washington, that we can see," she said. "Social Security does not contribute to the deficit at all, and therefore it should be treated entirely separately from the debate on the deficit and the budget."

She said AARP is calling for a national conversation about the future of Social Security - so those who paid into the system have a voice in the debate.

The study is online at

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT