Aug. 29--Vowing to protect Social Security, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy said Thursday the future of the federal program is emerging as a top issue in his congressional race.
"Senior citizens have worked their whole lives and expect that money to be there in their retirement. Social Security is not an entitlement program. The retirees have earned that money," said Murphy, D-Jupiter, speaking at an invitation-only event sponsored by the Coalition for Medicare Choices and Accountable Physician Groups at the Mirasol Recreation Center.
Leonard Waghelstein -- one of the residents, city officials and a dozen physicians at the event -- agreed.
"Many of us are on fixed incomes. We're living longer. If Social Security is taken away, what are we going to do?" asked Waghelstein, 69, a West Palm Beach resident who is retired from the publishing business.
The Social Security trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2033. Alternatives being considered include increasing Social Security taxes, raising the retirement age, means-testing Social Security benefits and changing the cost-of-living adjustment.
"Social Security is an important issue to voters," said Carl Domino, 70, who was not at the event but is challenging Murphy, 40, in the November election.
A combination of the alternatives needs to be considered, just like a diversified portfolio of assets is the best investment plan, Domino said.
"Voters also tell me they care about Obamacare, amnesty and All Aboard Florida," he said. "That train is emerging as the big issue."
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