Social Security Shortfalls

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

"The prospect of having to work until 70 or above is a little bit daunting," said Merrill Resident, Wendy Savage.

Merrill resident Savage was planning on retiring at the age of 65, 19 years from now, but with the news of the social security budget drying up by 2017, it appears her plans will have to change.

Savage is one of 77 million baby boomers, many of whom will start claiming their benefits four years from now, but thanks to a burgeoning national debt, their retirement funds will start disappearing at the same time.

It's a problem that President Bush says will not affect those who are closest to retirement.

"My position on social security benefits is this," said Bush, "that the benefits should not be changed for people at or near retirement."

But for workers like Savage who are close but not on the doorstep of retirement, they will be faced with staying on the job or finding new work well after they had planned to retire.

Democrats are saying it's the president who is to blame.

"The answer is not to cut social security benefits for those who need them and depend on them, the answer instead is to stop tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans," said John Edwards, Democratic Presidential Candidate.

However, President Bush says his budget plan can protect both the tax cuts and social security, but Savage says that comes as little comfort to her as she looks toward an uncertain future.

"It's not fair and it's particularly worrisome with my children in college. It's hard to know what to advise them."

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