We volunteer with AARP in part because they work with local and national leaders to bring about positive change. The organization’s recently launched campaign, Take A Stand, is no exception. Take A Stand embraces the critical importance of Social Security and uses substantive, unbiased research to highlight the acute juncture the program faces at the present moment.

Earlier this summer, Social Security’s trustees stated that big reductions could start to hit in 2034, and while that seems a significant distance in the future, research supports the notion that the time to act is now.

A new analysis by AARP clarifies the stakes for Mainers if our elected officials continue to defer adjustments to keep Social Security financially sound. Without such measures, the average family income for people over 65 would be cut by as much as $4,400 (25 percent). The poverty rate among older Mainers would soar to 69 percent.

Social Security’s 81st birthday this month is the perfect time to reflect on the enduring value of this essential program, as well as what the program needs to stay strong for the future. This is not just about retirees. Younger workers, our children and our grandchildren will all depend on Social Security one day.

We need a more robust national conversation on how to update a program born in the 1930s for the realities of the 21st century, and this conversation needs to begin with our presidential candidates. While we can find information about their plans at www.2016takeastand.org, we deserve to know much more about how that plan will affect our families, what it will cost and how they will effectively implement it.

Bob and Carol MacDougall


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