by Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO (bio)

President Bush’s ongoing campaign to convince Americans we “can’t afford” our aging population continues with new claims of economic gloom and doom…unless we cut Social Security.

We should not confuse the fact that there will be more retirees in the future with the notion that benefits are too high and should be cut. The average Social Security retiree check – right now – is just over $1,000 a month. Could you live on $12,000 a year? Yet, 20 percent of Social Security beneficiaries do just that. For 2 out of 3 retirees, Social Security is most of their income.

The fastest growing part of the federal budget isn’t Social Security and Medicare…it’s the interest on the debt which has grown by nearly $3 trillion in just the last 5 years. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and the Iraq War have dramatically increased the federal debt and seniors are being asked to pay the price.

We need to get our immediate fiscal problems under control so that we will be in a position to strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs, not privatize or destroy them in the name of “entitlement reform”.