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Raising Social Security Issue in VA, Nationwide

AARP’s Take a Stand campaign aims to keep Social Security at the center of the presidential race discussions.(AARP)
AARP’s Take a Stand campaign aims to keep Social Security at the center of the presidential race discussions.(AARP)
March 9, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. - AARP Virginia and its allies are playing a key part in keeping Social Security central to the presidential campaign.

The Take a Stand campaign asks the candidates how they would keep Social Security viable for the long term. amd AARP has electronically delivered petitions to CNN and Fox News with more than 100,000 signatures from people around the country pressing to see questions on Social Security during the debates.

"Because we're headed into this critical election, the greatest service that we can provide is to hold the presidential candidates accountable," said Peter Goldin, associate state director for federal advocacy at AARP Virginia. "If someone thinks that they're ready to be president, they should at least be able to tell us their plans to keep Social Security strong."

Social Security is estimated to be fully funded for the next 18 years, but after that, Goldin said, benefits could be cut by one-fourth - as much as $10,000 a year per person. Judging from the strong reaction AARP has seen nationwide, he said, people want the issue addressed. When asked for specifics, the responses from the campaigns exceeded his expectations, Goldin said, adding that people can judge those for themselves at AARP's website.

"You can click on your preferred candidate, or if you just want to read through all the candidates, you can do so," he said, "and you'll get an overview and then it'll also provide you links."

Now that the primary season is in full swing, Goldin said, AARP has started to advertise in Virginia and in other parts of the nation.

"Now we're starting to expand the campaign into the so-called battleground states, of course Virginia being one of them," he said. "We can't kick the can down any farther. We want to get it taken care of now so that we don't have to constantly revisit this issue."

Goldin said all of the candidates except Donald Trump have delivered their plans to strengthen the program. The details are online at 2016takeastand.org.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA