AARP opens the door to supporting future changes to Social Security
quote:AARP, the powerful lobby for older Americans that has been seen as one of the leading opponents of Social Security benefit cuts, said on Friday that it was open to modest reductions in benefits for future recipients.
“Our goal is to limit any changes in benefits,” John Rother, the group’s policy chief, said in a telephone interview, “but we also want to see the system made solvent.”
Mr. Rother said that the group’s stance on possible cuts, which was first reported in The Wall Street Journal in Friday’s editions, should be seen less as a major change in position than as a reflection of the political and financial realities facing the Social Security system and the country as a whole.
“You have to look at all the tradeoffs,” Mr. Rother said, “and what we’re trying to do is engage the American public in that debate.”
Nonetheless, the group’s openness to the possibility of unspecified cuts was seen as a significant development by people on all sides of the Social Security question, because of AARP’s powerful voice on federal policies affecting older Americans, including Medicare, prescription drugs and many more. ... The most recent estimates from the Social Security Administration, issued last month, indicate that under currrent law the program’s trust funds will be exhausted by 2036, and that $6.5 trillion in additional money will be needed over a 75-year period to pay all scheduled benefits.