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Candidates Urged to Talk About Social Security

Without action, Social Security could be cut by almost 25 percent in 2034. (AFGE/
Without action, Social Security could be cut by almost 25 percent in 2034. (AFGE/
October 13, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Future retirees could see huge cuts in Social Security benefits, so advocates say candidates for national office need to say how they'll update the system now.

Almost 7 million Pennsylvanians pay into Social Security but, unless action is taken soon, benefits could be cut by almost 25 percent beginning in 2034.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, director of AARP Pennsylvania, says voters need to know what those they send to Washington intend to do about it.

"We want them to start talking about it, making sure that in this election year they know what this means not just for the 50-plus now, but also for our children and grandchildren down the road," he states.

AARP has launched a national campaign called Take a Stand, pressing candidates to tell voters how they'll keep Social Security strong for future generations.

AARP has been reaching out to the candidates, and according to Johnston-Walsh his organization has been getting some positive feedback.

"Some of them have been discussing it on the campaign trail,” he says. “But we'd like to bring it to the forefront, not just in sound bites but go a little bit deeper into what their plans would be."

Information about where the candidates for president and congress stand on Social Security is available at

Johnston-Walsh says the projected cuts to future benefits would force more Pennsylvanians into poverty and reduce money available for basic needs such as food and health care.

"Kicking the can down the road is not an option,” he stresses. “We need our leaders to act now, and if people can go out there and start talking to their elected officials about Social Security and the future of Social Security, we think that's very important."

Social Security was created in 1935. Now, AARP says, it's time to update the program for the 21st century.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA