By Leigh DeNoon
As the ill-tempered standoff continues in Washington over the budget and the debt ceiling, backers of Social Security and Medicare want federal representatives to know the importance of the retirement programs, and not tie them to any debt resolution.
According to Sarah Waddle, federal advocacy director for AARP Indiana, a new report from AARP shows how the "multiplier effect" for Social Security benefits the Hoosier economy - and AARP members are spreading the word.
"We visited the district offices of our members of Congress, and we delivered this report along with over 53,000 petitions that Hoosiers have signed who are concerned about proposals to cut Social Security benefits," she said.
Waddle said the multiplier effect happens when Social Security recipients spend their benefits, and the companies which receive those dollars spend their profits and pay their employees, who in turn spend their wages.
She pointed out that Social Security's economic effect is immense.
"For every dollar of Social Security received in Indiana, it generates $1.82 of total output for the state economy," Waddle said. "And that's looking at $30.6 billion in total economic output for the state."
Waddle said AARP is urging congressional leaders not to cut Social Security as a way to help balance the budget.
"We want common-sense solutions and not harmful cuts to these programs, because we know how important they are to individuals, and because of this report we now know how important Social Security is to our economy."
Nationally, Social Security benefit payments in 2012 supported more than $370 billion in salaries, wages and compensation for workers.
The full report, "Social Security's Impact on the National Economy," is at bit.ly/1audVBJ