While Congress and the President start work on legislation to stimulate our slowing economy, it appears America’s 23 million seniors will once again be overlooked. This, in spite of the undeniable truth that the economic downturn and rising prices have hit older Americans especially hard since many live on a fixed incomes with little ability to increase their earnings.

Once again, legislative proposals are focusing on tying stimulus to tax relief or rebates. However, millions of retirees do not earn enough to require filing a tax return and therefore are not eligible for a tax rebate, yet they are also not poor enough to qualify for low-income programs being considered for increases.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans over 65 are responsible for 14% of all consumer spending. Seniors are also among the demographic groups most likely to spend any stimulus benefit they receive.

The most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey by the Bureau of Economic Analysis says the average household headed by someone over age 65 spent 92% of their annual income, which is higher than any other demographic group with the exception of those under age 25. Seniors spend what they earn, especially as prices continue to rise, because they live on a fixed income. Why should America’s fastest growing demographic continually be ignored in these economic recovery measures?

We’ve sent a letter to Congress today, and will provide testimony to the Senate Finance Committee next week, urging Washington to use Social Security as the vehicle to distribute to American retirees the same stimulus checks being considered for younger Americans.

It’s a boost for seniors and our economic recovery.