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Iowans Urged to Quiz Presidential Hopefuls on Social Security

AARP is one group that believes the presidential candidates aren't saying enough about what they'd do to update Social Security and ensure its future. (AARP.org)
AARP is one group that believes the presidential candidates aren't saying enough about what they'd do to update Social Security and ensure its future. (AARP.org)
August 1, 2016

AMES, Iowa — Nearly one-third of people over age 65 in Iowa rely on Social Security as their sole source of income, and more than 60 percent depend on it for at least half of their income.

A recent report from the Social Security Administration shows that the program will be in jeopardy without some changes, said Anthony Carroll, advocacy director for AARP Iowa.

"If nothing's done, in 2034 we'll face a 25 percent cut,” Carroll said, "which could be up to $10,000 a year for some Iowans and Americans."

With both presidential nominees planning to campaign heavily in the state, Carroll said the issue needs to be a bigger priority, both for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And, he said, it’s up to the people of Iowa to help make sure Social Security is top-of-mind.

"We're a battleground state,” Carroll said. "For instance, Mr. Trump was just here last week; we expect Secretary Clinton will be here. So, we want Iowans to speak up and ask, 'Will you take action? Will you commit to lead on Social Security with a plan to update it?'"

Even though both candidates have Social Security plans in place, Carroll said the issue hasn't been a large enough part of either of their campaigns.

"We know this is going to be a challenge,” he said. "It's easy to get people saying how important Social Security is. It's another thing to get a commitment from the leadership, whoever our next president is, to having a plan and acting on that plan, working with Congress to make sure Social Security's updated."

AARP tracks to two candidates' mentions of Social Security and posts the information online at TakeAStand.aarp.org.

Bob Kessler, Public News Service - IA