The nation did not default, but I’m still worried. In the final deal to raise the debt ceiling, Congress agreed to create a “super committee” to reduce the national debt an additional $1.5 trillion. Judging by how difficult it was to find compromise with the risk of economic catastrophe at hand, I cannot imagine that this committee will develop a more even-handed approach. With automatic cuts to popular domestic and military programs hanging over their heads, Congress is bound to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.
Few in Congress seem to acknowledge that Social Security is fully funded by dedicated payroll taxes, and Medicare has already been trimmed as part of health care reform.
In New Jersey alone, 1.4 million residents receive Social Security income, and of this 22 percent rely upon it for at least 90% of their income. By looking at these programs as faceless expenditures, Congress is playing a game with people’s lives. If Congress does not take Social Security and Medicare off the table as AARP has insisted, I can tell you the outcome: We lose.
AARP Outreach Volunteer
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