By Joellen Leavelle
Over the last few months you’ve probably heard reports about the president’s fiscal commission. Word around town is that this secretive commission, with its stated goal of reducing the federal deficit, is seriously considering cuts to Social Security.
Instead of looking at ways to reduce Social Security, the deficit commission should think of ways to strengthen it. Social Security isn’t the problem.
The truth is that Social Security provides a bare-bones safety net by helping millions of older Americans have an economically stable and secure retirement. Look at the facts: The average Social Security recipient receives just over $14,000 per year – less than the federal minimum wage. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be pretty tough to live on only $14,000 a year.
Remember that three-legged stool we keep telling you about? Well, Social Security is a vital part of it. Without Social Security, in addition to guaranteed pensions and personal savings, how would Americans – both young and old – balance their budgets? (Let’s not forget that Social Security also provides benefits to women, people with disabilities, veterans, and children.)
At a time when Americans are already struggling to balance their budgets, the last thing the fiscal commission should do is make cuts to Social Security, the cornerstone of the nation’s retirement system.
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