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Seeking Specifics from Presidential Candidates on Social Security

The future of Social Security is among the issues on the minds of many Kentuckians as the presidential race makes its way to the Commonwealth. (Greg Stotelmyer)
The future of Social Security is among the issues on the minds of many Kentuckians as the presidential race makes its way to the Commonwealth. (Greg Stotelmyer)
March 3, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. – With Kentucky's Republican presidential caucus on Saturday, the state's leading advocacy group for voters over 50 is calling on the candidates to outline their specific plans for the future of Social Security.

According to AARP, nearly a million Kentuckians receive Social Security, and 57 percent of them rely on it for more than half their income.

Deborah Turner of Louisville says she is one of those Kentuckians.

"It is a lifeline,” she stresses. “I worked for 44 years contributing to Social Security and, like many people in Kentucky, that is our retirement. Social Security is all that's left."

Turner is a volunteer for AARP. Nationally, the group has launched an online campaign to gather answers from the candidates about what they'll do to protect Social Security for future generations. The information is posted on the website takeastand.aarp.org.

Turner points to reports that say if changes aren't made to the Social Security system by 2034, benefit amounts will have to be cut. She says it's unlikely Congress will agree on those changes.

"We're not saying what that plan ought to be,” she states. “We're hoping that every candidate offers a plan so that then, voters can make a decision.

“We're pretty much convinced that without presidential leadership, nothing is going to happen."

Forty-five delegates will be at stake Saturday in the newly created GOP caucus. The traditional Democratic presidential primary in Kentucky is May 17.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY