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U.S. Social Security $2.6 Trillion Dollar Surplus

Outline: Social Security is far from bankrupt with a $2.6 trillion dollar surplus.

Main Digest

Elder Law of Michigan joins OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women in the Social Security Matters campaign that is working to strengthen and protect Social Security and the retirement security of American workers.

The Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to talk to Congressional candidates about protecting social security for retirees and unemployed older adults who have not been able to rejoin the paid workforce.

While the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform barrels toward cutting Social Security in an attempt to "fix" the deficit, the Security Matters coalition is mobilizing to help American workers get more information. Social Security has enough money to cover full benefits for nearly thirty years, and has not contributed to the nation's budget problems.

Social Security is far from bankrupt, with a $2.6 trillion dollar surplus.

The federal government has borrowed most of that surplus to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Wall Street bank bailouts, and the Bush-era tax cuts. The government is now wondering how to pay back the loan - it's not their money - it belongs to Social Security.

As the baby boomers retire, Social Security will eventually have to pay out more than it takes in. Social Security has been getting ready for this since 1983, by paying higher payroll contributions in order to increase the Trust Fund. Social Security has been saving up for the boomers, and it has the funds to pay all promised benefits for many years to come.

Suggestions that cuts to Social Security should be used to fix the deficit are a serious threat to retirees.

With high unemployment among people over 50, reduced home values and dangerously low savings, Social Security is more important than ever to the middle class and their ability to meet their most basic needs in retirement.

"If Congress cuts benefits by raising the retirement age or by reducing the amount paid to beneficiaries, it amounts to stealing our money. It's like the bank telling you that even though you deposited $100 into your saving account, they're only going to give you $80 back," stated Kate Birnbryer White, Executive Director of Elder Law of Michigan. "Social Security is the people's savings account for retirement, not monopoly money to solve other national problems."

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