Social Security: Why Seniors Are Mad as Hell

Thursday, July 14, 2011
By Paul Martin

BySheryl Nance-Nash

Today, Fran Liotta has two harsh words for the U.S. government, “unconscionable, outrageous!”
The 77-year-old retiree says she had to read President Obama’s warning twice. She couldn’t believe that the federal government was saying it couldn’t guarantee that Social Security checks will be mailed Aug. 3 if Congress doesn’t take action on the debt ceiling.
“I won’t be able to pay my rent or eat if I don’t get my check. They can’t work this out on the backs of senior citizens. Raise the taxes on the wealthy. I don’t know what I will do if this happens,” says Liotta.

The warning Tuesday that tens of millions of Social Security recipients may find their mailboxes empty when they go looking for their checks sent shockwaves through the senior community. They wasted no time having their say. “Now is not the time for elected leaders on either side of the aisle to play politics with Americans’ hard-earned Social Security benefits,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond in a prepared statement. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney responded to the criticism from seniors and their advocates, telling reporters “that the president’s position has always been that we will not get to that point [of not paying Social Security benefits] because Congress will do the right thing.”

“While there may be disagreement over different policies, there should be no disagreement that it would be both irresponsible and immoral to fail to make Social Security benefit payments to seniors who have worked and contributed over their lives to earn their benefits,” said LeaMond. “Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security to help pay for basic necessities, including rent, food and health costs, and AARP is fighting to protect the hard earned benefits that are critically important to all Social Security beneficiaries. AARP is adamant that Social Security and Medicare benefits must not be cut in any way as part of any deal to pay the nation’s bills and will continue our efforts to raise the voices of older Americans who rely on these programs for their health and financial security.” she added.

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