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    Thank you for contacting me regarding potential changes to the Social Security system and Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLA) for Social Security recipients. It was good to hear from you.

    As you know, Social Security was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to address widespread poverty experienced by seniors during the Great Depression. Social Security provides retirees with a foundation of economic security, with almost 90 percent of people age 65 and older receiving some income from Social Security. With the average retiree benefit of $1,230 per month, or $14,760 a year, Social Security payments are by no means extravagant but they have provided America's seniors with vital protection against poverty. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half of American seniors would live in poverty today without Social Security.

    Social Security is a basic American value. It is a promise that if you work hard, you will have some security when you retire or if you become disabled. It is a safety net to keep seniors out of financial poverty. And it is a pledge that if your spouse or parent passes on, you will continue to have the support and security you need. Social Security is most often thought of as an earned retirement program, but it is also a comprehensive family insurance program, protecting families of deceased and disabled workers from sliding into poverty. Indeed, three in ten beneficiaries receive survivors' or disability insurance benefits.

    Please know that I understand your concerns regarding the impact of deficit reduction legislation on Social Security benefits. I am committed to addressing our nation's debt and know that any deal will involve sacrifices from all sides. But I think that seniors and the middle class have sacrificed enough over the past few years, and any changes we make to programs they depend on should only be done in a way that works for beneficiaries, and protects and preserves key programs. While I am open to ways to strengthen Social Security, I know that it does not have to do with our debt and deficit problem and there is no reason for it to be wrapped up in this debate.


    Again, thank you for contacting me about this important issue. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please sign up for my weekly updates at Please keep in touch.

    Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

    by waztec on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:56:52 PM PDT

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