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Social Security's Future Will Take Presidential Leadership

Arkansas residents are being urged to take a stand about the future of Social Security. (AARP.org)
Arkansas residents are being urged to take a stand about the future of Social Security. (AARP.org)
August 5, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Nearly 674,000 people in Arkansas collect Social Security benefits; that's one out of every four state residents. Advocates say with so many relying on it to make ends meet, it's crucial to know what each presidential candidate will do to make sure the program is funded into the future.

Herb Sanderson is the state director for AARP Arkansas. He said although the program is OK now, there's not enough money to fully fund it after 2033, and national leaders need to address that now.

"We're asking each presidential candidate to tell people what their solution is, because without presidential leadership this won't happen," he said. "So we have a website, '2016 Take a Stand,' so people can go and see what their candidates have to say."

Across the nation, the average Social Security benefit check is just over $1,200 and one in six of those over the age of 65 use it as their only income. In Arkansas that number is one in four.

Sanderson said we can't just sit back and hope lawmakers will do the right thing when it comes to Social Security.

"It's going to take presidential leadership." he added. "That's why we're really hoping people will go to the 2016 Take a Stand website and get involved and ask candidates that are running for office 'what is your plan for Social Security, to make it secure for future generations?'"

Sanderson said it's about keeping a promise to future generations. It will be 81 years ago next week that Social Security was signed into law. To get involved go to 2016 TakeAStand.org.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - AR